Gloucestershire

'Divorced' swan returns to Slimbridge with new mate

Sarindi and Sarind
Image caption Sarindi and her second mate Sarind are said to be settling in for their second winter together

A swan, which famously "divorced" her mate, has returned to a Gloucestershire wildlife sanctuary with her new partner for the second year running.

Wild Bewicks Sarindi and Saruni shocked experts last winter by flying back to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge with different mates.

The last "separation" at the centre was recorded more than 40 years ago.

Swans usually mate for life, but it is thought failure to breed after two years may have caused the split.

Staff at the centre said they wasted no time finding new mates and acted indifferently towards their former partners on the lake.

Settling in

Julia Newth, wildlife health research officer, said: "Fortunately for Sarindi's second mate Sarind, a second divorce does not look on the cards yet and both are happily settling in for their second winter together.

"Perhaps they are learning some lessons from recent arrivals Teapot and Teabag, who have faithfully been together for 15 years."

Sarind's former mate, Saruni, has not yet returned with his new mate, Surune.

The Bewick's breed in arctic Russia but return each year to spend their winters at the centre, which was founded by Sir Peter Scott.

Loyal couple Teabag and Teapot, who are known collectively as the Tea Party, were among new arrivals this week.

The female Teabag has been faithfully spending her winters on the Rushy Lake since 1994 and in 1996 arrived with her new mate Teapot.

Since then the couple have raised 14 cygnets, many of which have been given tea-themed names such as Caddy, Chai and Teacake.

A total of 19 Bewick's swans have arrived at the centre over the past two days, increasing the reserve count to 23.

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