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Birds of a feather to flock together

Black swan Petra welcomes her "partner", a swan-shaped paddle boat at a small lake at the Zoo in Muenster, western Germany, on March 9, 2007.Frank Augstein / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A long love story is over at a German zoo: Petra the swan and her swan-shaped paddleboat are parting ways.

Petra, a black swan, became a minor celebrity in 2006 when she became so attached to the boat — which is shaped like an oversized white swan — that she refused to leave its side.

Officials in the western city of Muenster decided to let her stay with it over the winter, bringing both bird and boat into a city zoo.

However, Petra met a live swan this winter. Zoo director Joerg Adler says she and her new mate — a white swan — are building a nest together.

The boat is to be returned to its local owner on Thursday.