Nigel "no mates", a lonely New Zealand gannet who lived his life on the edge of the cliffs of an uninhabited island, has been found dead alongside his partner - a concrete replica bird.
Nigel had been on Mana Island for five years and was besotted with one of the 80 decoys spread across the island.
Conservation ranger Chris Bell, who found Nigel's body last week, said his passing was "incredibly sad".
"This just feels like the wrong ending to the story," Mr Bell said.
Nigel was found next to his immobile concrete partner, who was part of a fake colony created to help lure gannets to Mana Island off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island.
He had been observed over the years by volunteers who said they were touched after witnessing him carefully construct a nest from seaweed and twigs on the cliff edge in an apparent act of courtship in 2013.
Wow, this is so sad .
I do hope he at least enjoyed the relationship he had with his concrete companion - even if it was very much a one-way relationship .
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Lonely gannet dies next to fake partner
Posts 123,242 Real Name Christopher (a.k.a. CJ) Preferred browser Mozilla Firefox Country United KingdomRank 12CJRank 12
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This is sad but it also reminds me of human love. Sometimes, you get attached to someone or something you shouldn't and it ends pretty much the same way. In the end, he didn't know this wasn't real love just as most of us don't know we're living the lie (when it comes to love), either. So if he was happy? Who are we to complain. We could say, oh but he couldn't have a real partner and thus forfeited the chance to reproduce? So yeah, that benefits us (as humans) as we are trying to perpetuate a species (that we probably destroyed in the first place). For this bird, the only thing that mattered to him was his 'feelings'. Can we be sad to know he had feelings? This is after all, a sign of sentience. Could be a good thing.
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