Florida City Selling Swans Due to $10,000 Annual Cost to Feed Them

A city in Florida is selling its swans because of the high cost of their care.

The swans in Lakeland, Florida, require $10,000 per year, CNN reported Wednesday.

The swans are overpopulated, the city's Director of Parks and Recreation, Bob Donahay, told the outlet, leading the birds to stray away from their natural habitats in search of more space.

"We currently have 80 swans here on Lake Morton to feed and care for, so we are looking to sell around 30 to 40 to ensure proper care for them all," Donahay said.

The swans will be sold for $400 each and be placed in private homes or at venues for weddings or other events.

"We will have a great conversation about who they [the buyers] are and what their plans are for the swan or swans," Donahay told CNN. "And then we also make ourselves readily available if any of the swans experience medical issues down the road."

The swans are rounded up annually for a wellness check, which Donahay said is conducted by local veterinarians pro bono.

"We are fortunate to have veterinarians in town who donate their services to our annual wellness roundups where we check the health of all our swans," Donahay said to CNN.

According to a press release last week, the town's first swans were donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1957.

"As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began in 1980 and has continued every year since then," the press release said.

This year's round up and health check will take place on October 6 and 7, which is when some swans will be chosen for sale, Parks & Recreation supervisor Steve Platt said in a statement.

"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," Platt — who is known as the "Swanfather" — said. "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. 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."

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