Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

    A widow swan captures the hearts of children after they leave for school by staring at her reflection through a window in an apparent ritual of mourning for her deceased mate

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    The pain of losing your loved ones is something we all fear.

    And it seems that such pain is felt by other animals too.

    A swan named Sally has captured the hearts of schoolchildren in an apparent mourning ritual for her late partner.

    Every day for the past 18 months, the swan crossed a busy road to visit Telford Park secondary school in Shropshire, where she spent hours staring at her reflection in one of the windows.

    The swan frolicked with her mate ‘Harry’ in Madebrook Pond, in a nature reserve near the school. But Harry would have died in 2022.

    A swan named Sally (above) has captured the hearts of schoolchildren in an apparent mourning ritual for her late mate

    The swan frolicked with her mate ‘Harry’ in Madebrook Pond, in a nature reserve near the school. But Harry would have died in 2022

    The staff believes that Sally’s daily pilgrimage is her way of being close to her deceased partner by looking at a shape that is similar in reflection. Billy Goodall, 32, the school’s business manager, told The Sunday Times: ‘I think she is lonely and is doing it for comfort. The children love her. They have a lot of respect for her.’

    According to Birdfact, a swan losing its mate causes a ‘period of intense grief’ – and some widow swans may have difficulty feeding or preening themselves properly.

    Last year the RSPB moved Sally to a lake, but she quickly returned to her pond.

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