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This City Is Selling Off Its Swans for $400 a Pop

Lakeland, Fla., says due to overpopulation, it costs $10K a year to feed them all
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2020 1:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Got an extra $400 lying around? Love swans? If you're near Lakeland, Fla., or can get there, you're in luck. CNN reports that, starting sometime in the next few weeks, the city will be selling off about half of the 80 resident swans that live on Lake Morton. The move will hopefully lead to a significant decrease in the annual $10,000 cost of feeding and caring for the birds. "We are really overpopulated," Bob Donahay, the city's parks and rec chief, tells the Lakeland Ledger. Before the swan sale, the city will conduct its annual wellness "roundup," where the birds will be gathered together and given a thorough veterinarian exam. Although no background checks will be required to scoop up a swan, Donahay says city officials will have "a great conversation" with potential buyers about their plans for the bird.

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Donahay adds that the swans will likely be placed with people who have bodies of water in or near their residences, or with wedding venues, funeral businesses, and nursing homes. The Ledger notes that by slashing the swan population, the city will also hopefully help cut down on the number of swans hit by cars, as well as keep them from having to fight over territory. Steve Platt, a grounds maintenance supervisor for the city, says there's a "mile-long" list of folks who've expressed interest in buying one; he notes the city will contact those interested parties, as well as post ads for the swan sale. One thing city officials will try not to do, he adds: separate mated pairs, which they keep tabs on via the birds' microchips. "We don't want to cause any heartache," he says. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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