| The Ledger
LAKELAND — Those interested in buying one of Lakeland’s beloved feathered icons have until Thursday evening to register for the city’s swan sale.
City officials set a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday for interested purchasers to register online at www.lakelandgov.net/swansale. Lakeland will put 36 young mute swans up for sale to reduce the overpopulation on Lake Morton.
Kevin Cook, the city’s spokesman, previously told The Ledger the city has received widespread interest from potential buyers from the City of New Port Richie to as far away as Canada. There will be a limit of two swans per purchase starting in male-female pairs, though mates are not guaranteed.
An electronic lottery will be held Friday, after which Lakeland employees will reach out to those selected to confirm they are still interested in purchasing a swan. The city must receive full payment of $400 per bird by Oct. 23 at noon with a signed agreement.
Under the purchase agreement, the city is requiring that all buyers guarantee they will provide a safe and healthy habitat for the birds, provide at least annual veterinary care and safe transport of the animals.
All swans up for sale have been medically cleared by veterinarians of My Pet’s Animal Hospital of Lakeland during the city’s 40th annual Swan Roundup held Oct. 6-7.
More detailed information on the swans, from their royal heritage tracing to Queen Elizabeth of England to necessary habitat, diet and feeding can be found on the city’s website.
In return, the city has agreed to provide the purchasers with each’s swans microchip number and medical history on record with My Pet’s Animal Hospital.
In previous swan sales, the feathered denizens have found new homes ranging from individual farm owners to nursing homes and golf courses, according to Steve Platt, Lakeland’s ground maintenance supervisor who has the nickname of “The Swanfather.”
Lucky lottery winners will be expected to pick up the swans to take home starting at 9 a.m. Oct. 29. All must be present or purchasers will forfeit their spot. Selected buyers will be given the exact pickup location.
Sara-Megan Walsh can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7545.