Eighty-nine swans on Lakes Morton, Wire and Mirror were herded into cages, on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, to await their annual health physicals on Wednesday.
Each year, the City of Lakeland’s Parks and Recreation Department rounds up the swans to check for health issues, check weight and have microchips inserted, if not already, for tracking purposes. There are two primary reasons the birds are inspected each year: to insure that there are no major health concerns and to narrow down the population on the City’s Lakes.
“Our target number on Lake Morton is 50 Swans,” remarked Bill Tinsley, Director of Parks and Recreation. “This number ensures that there is a balance between flock population and what the habitat can support.”
This year, the swans were examined by Patrica Mattson, DVM, from Companion Animal Hospital. The task of the swan examination begins with a weigh-in and is followed by listening for heart issues. The veterinarian then examines the beak and inside the mouth. Some swans are asked to “donate” stool samples for further testing. Next, the birds feet are examined. After the exam, unless further testing needs to be done, the bird is free to go—once let go, they couldn’t be happier.
Parks and Recreation rounds up the swans on an annual basis to preserve these City icons for Lakeland’s citizens. Of course if you’re looking to purchase one of the swans, you could do that too! Approximately twelve swans will be auctioned off mid-November. Stay tuned to learn how you can own one of these majestic birds.