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Dec 15, 2007
Crinkly the ugly swan finds love after seven years
by Gulliver
crinkly the ugly swan
Crinkly the deformed swan, rejected by the girls for years, may finally have a girlfriend

It's a real-life Ugly Duckling story that gives hope to us all.

Crinkly the ugly swan with the oddly deformed neck thought he was destined to be the eternal bachelor of the swan world.

Shunned by the girls, his weirdly bent neck has kept him from finding love, until . . . a real-life fairy tale change in his fortunes!

Now Crinkly, whose defect was probably caused by a birth defect, may finally have found a girlfriend after seven years.

The ugly cob is a well-known face at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire. He has flown in to the English bird sanctuary from Arctic Russia every year since 2001 to spent Christmas there.

After years of being rejected by the girls, another swan at the centre has finally shown an interest in Crinkly.

Conservation workers had been worried about Crinkly's failure to attract the opposite sex. And they hadn't been rating his chances because he is such a strange-looking bird.

Up to now none of the females at the trust was prepared to mate with this one ugly cob.

But that's all about to change as workers report seeing signs of a budding romance.

"We are delighted because we think Crinkly has finally found a girlfriend," said trust spokesperson Jools Mackin.

"He appears to be associating with another Bewick's swan called Taciturn. At the moment they are associating on Swan Lake."

It's too early to say whether or not they are mates and workers at the reserve will be monitoring the love birds in the coming days.

The pair fly in and out together and everybody at Slimbridge is hoping there will a happy ending to this unusual love story when the two become mates.

Crinkly first arrived to his Christmas home in England as a cygnet with parents Lucius and Coletta, with his oddly deformed neck probably caused by a birth defect.

Despite his deformity, he has survied seven migrations from breeding grounds on the Russian Arctic tundra. That means he has flown an amazing 21,000km.

Swans fly back to Britain at this time of year because conditions in the freezing tundra make feeding impossible for them.

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