35th ANNUAL LAKE MORTON SWAN ROUNDUP OCTOBER 6th
LAKELAND, FL (September 14, 2015) -- The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th for the 35th Annual Swan Roundup. Parks & Recreation employees will be carefully gathering the swans to get them ready for their annual veterinary check-up. The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for their annual wellness examinations that will start Wednesday morning, October 7th at 7:30 a.m. with Patricia Mattson, DVM. The Annual Swan Round-Up allows the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population.
The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom 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 swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original "Swanvet" W.G. Gardner. His dedication to the flock carries on with Dr. Mattson.
Dr. Mattson has 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She the owner of Companion Animal Hospital a full service facility that provides general medical care, preventive medical care, vaccinations, health certificates, caesarean section, diagnostic services, on-site kennel, on-site laboratory testing, flea control, dietary counseling, spay/neuter, declawing, radiology, general surgery, dentistry, emergency services, microchipping, pharmacy services and boarding.
Dr. Patricia Mattson who donates her time as Lakeland’s official swan veterinarian recently shared her report on Lake Morton’s swans after their last annual physical. Mattson said, “The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet with very little nutritional value is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population.” She added, “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread.” This is just one of the items that will be reviewed during the swans annual health checkup.
Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been feeding them left-over bread for decades.” He added, “We recently added swan feeders around the lake and we hope families will use the swan feed because it is specially formulated to include much needed nutrients that will help the swans stay healthy.” The Lake Morton swan feeders are coin operated and the proceeds from the feeders is used to offset the annual cost for swan food, healthcare and upkeep. It costs about $10,000 a year to feed Lakeland’s domestic swans.