Australian black swans hatch in Lakeland

- The city of Lakeland has 20 Australian black swans in its flock, but that number will now grow by three.

The city announced that three baby black swans successfully hatched using an incubator. Officials said there had previously been no documented cases of incubated black swan eggs.

"This is a great day for the swan program and our beautiful city,” said Dr. Patricia Mattson, a veterinarian who cares for all of the city’s swans.

The city said it purchased a high-end incubator for $3,500 after unsuccessful attempts using less-expensive incubators.

"We are really excited because our Australian black swans haven't produced any surviving offspring in the past seven years,” said Steve Platt, Lakeland’s Parks & Recreation Supervisor.

There are a total of 75 swans that live in downtown Lakeland. The city does an annual “swan roundup” so Mattson can check on each of them.

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