Hand-raised swans added to Lakeland's Lake Morton - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Hand-raised swans added to Lakeland's Lake Morton

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

City crews released seven hand-raised, juvenile swans onto Lake Morton in Lakeland this week.

"We've raised them since day one," explained Lakeland Operations Supervisor Steve Platt.

Platt and his team initially left the baby swans, which are known as cygnets, with their parents for the first few days. When the birds started venturing into the lake on their own, city crews scooped them up and took them to a secure location to be cared for until they could safely care for themselves.

"Last year we had a lot of problems with theft of the eggs, and we just didn't really want that to happen this year," Platt said. "We really care about our swans."

Mike Futch is on the team that helped care for the swans for their first few months of life.
 
"On the weekends I would take them home, put them in my bathtub and keep them fed," he said.

Now that the swans are old enough to fend for themselves, crews felt confident about re-introducing them to Lake Morton. 

"Hopefully they'll stick together," Platt said.  "But if not, they'll find their little niche in the lake, and they'll do their thing, and nature will take its course."

The city is raising another eight swans that still aren't quite old enough for release. Crews expect to add those birds to the Lake Morton flock in the next several weeks. 
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