SPAIN, SWITZERLAND – Max, the Swiss-born stork who is the longest banded and tracked animal in the world, has died at 13.5 years of age in her winter retreat in Spain, said the Natural History Museum of Fribourg (NHM) on 27 October.
Although investigators knew most details of Max’s life, the cause of death cannot be determined as her corpse had been partly eaten by scavengers when found by scientists. Accidental death could be one of the reasons as her body was found near a power line in the south of Madrid.
The Swiss museum made the surprising discovery that after six years migrating in winter to Morocco and then Catalonia, Spain, Max’s idea of the wild was spending winters in a building in Madrid’s Vallecas neighbourhood.
The NHM had been following Max since 1999 and had recently banded the stork with a more powerful tracking device.
Max, a female, was born in Avenches, canton Vaud in 1999. She mated for the first time at age 3 and raised 26 offspring in 11 separate occasions.
The Fribourg Museum in a statement thanked volunteers, supporters and the Affenberg Salem Park which helped track her movements for more than a decade.
GenevaLunch had closely followed her forays, matings, births and the education of her offspring for the past six years. See her life in review here.