The Love Boat

Arnoud van den Heuvel
April 19th 2008

petra, the lovesick swan

This is Petra. In 2006 she fell in love with a peddle boat designed to look like a swan and has never left its side. In winter, when swans should be flying southwards, the peddle boat remains in the Muenster park (Germany) and so does Petra. Fortunately local zoo chiefs took Petra under their wings and gave her shelter in the Muenster zoo. For the second year now, Petra is reunited with her lover.

petra to the zoo

Zoo director Joerg Adler (right) holds black swan Petra as he and pedal boat owner Peter Overschmidt (left) bring the swan and the pedal boat from the Aasee lake in Muenster, northwestern Germany, to a wintering area at the zoo in Muenster, 05 December 2007.

swa petra

Animals sometimes develop an affection for objects. Since Petra never showed affection to other black Australian swans, a year ago she is supposed to have been separated from her paddle boat and joined with another (real) white swan–companion... Petra however refused to cheat. [Would she have stayed with the white male, she wouldn't have been able to reproduce, since they are different species... and if she was to lay eggs, the chicks wouldn't be able to reproduce]. She chose to continue the paddle–pal relationship and serve as a decent example of monogamy. | |

Related: Elephant Artist | It came out of the sea | Animal Logic | Bird Radio | Robot Duck

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!


Comments are members only. Login to your account and join the technology debate.

Not a member? Join us
Posted 19/04/2008 – 23:19

Amazing Petra should fly KLM..

Should men be able to give birth to children?

Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

Already a member? Login.