Florida city selling swans to deal with overpopulation

City selling swans to deal with overpopulation

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida town known as the “Swan City” is selling some of its flock.

After the “Swan Roundup,” and a wellness check by a veterinarian, the city of Lakeland plans to sell about 40 of its iconic birds, which have royal pedigree, in an effort to control overcrowding on Lake Morton, CNN reported.

“Although this lake is beautiful, and looks like a large body of water, it can only handle so much of a swan population,” Kevin Cook, city spokesperson, told WTVT.

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CITY NEWS BLOG: 40th Annual Lake Morton Swan Roundup October 6th; Vet Check October 7th LAKELAND, FL (September 22,...

Posted by City of Lakeland, FL - Government on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The swans, which cost about $10,000 to feed and maintain, are descendants from a pair of white mutes donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1957. The Swan Roundups started in 1980 as a way to care for the growing population. The birds are so synonymous with the city that it adopted the image of a swan as its logo.

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Posted by City of Lakeland, FL - Government on Saturday, September 26, 2020

There are about 80 birds in the flock this year after a successful breeding season. City officials believe they will sell about 40 of them. They can sell for about $300 each.

They can fight for territory and roam into traffic. Two died earlier this year after being hit by drivers, the Lakeland Ledger reported.

This is not the first time the city has sold some of the flock. In 2011, some of the birds had to go to reduce the population as well.

There are some stipulations before the city will sell a swan.

“You have to have a body of water,” Cook told WTVT. “You have to have a safe environment for the birds and you’ve got to be able to take two birds.”