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Last Updated: Tuesday January 26 2010 06:38 GMT

Experts surprised by swan 'split'

 Bewick's Swans on at the Wildfowl Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge in Gloucestershire

A pair of swans have surprised experts by splitting up and finding new partners.

Swans usually stay together for life, but Sarundi and Saruni returned to Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre in Gloucestershire with new mates.

Experts say they may have broken up because they weren't able to breed.

It's only the second time in more than 40 years that experts have seen that type of bird, called a Bewick's swan, separate from its partner.

Julia Newth, a wildlife officer, said the old pair have more or less ignored each other since their return, despite living in the same part of the small lake.

Study

The creatures are Bewick's swans, which are the smallest and rarest of the three species found in the UK.

Experts have studied around 4,000 pairs of the swans and say Sarundi and Saruni are only the second pair they've seen find new partners.