Florida city selling swans because of overpopulation10/03/2020
If you’re looking for a new pet, now’s your chance to get a swan.
The city of Lakeland, Fla., will be selling some of its swans after its annual “Swan Roundup” next week.
According to local reports, the swans have become a bit overpopulated in their home, Lake Morton.
City officials estimate there are about 80 swans on Lake Morton, WTSP reported. The city is expecting to sell between 16 and 20 swans to get the flock where it needs to be.
It also doesn’t help that it costs the city about $10,000 a year to feed and care for the swans.
Aside from adjusting the swan population, the roundup is a chance for the swans to get their annual veterinary check-ups so the city’s Parks and Recreation Department can monitor their health, according to a press release.
On Tuesday morning, Lakeland’s Parks Division will be “carefully gathering the swans” into large holding pens where they’ll wait until their check-ups starting on Wednesday morning.
“We will gather the swans on Lake Morton using catch boats with our crews setting up a perimeter around the lake to help keep the swans on the water,” Steve Platt, Lakeland’s Parks and Recreation supervisor, said in a statement. “Our veterinarian will be out the very next morning to assist with keeping our swan flock healthy.”
“Day two may take a little longer this year because we plan on having a swan sale this year,” Platt added. “We will have to separate the swans that will be part of that process but we will have more information on our swan sale later.”
According to the city, Lakeland’s first swans were donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1957 and by 1980 the population grew so significantly that the city decided to do an annual check-up on the birds.
“The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been interacting with the birds for decades,” Bob Donahay, Lakeland’s director of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement. “It is very important that our Lakeland flock is doing well so we schedule the Swan roundup each year with the primary purpose to check on the health of our birds.”
“People may not realize but the Parks Department actually has a line item in our budget for swan food and upkeep,” Donahay added. “It costs about $10,000 per year to feed and care for Lakeland’s domestic swans.”
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