LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Six swans have been hit by drivers in the last three weeks on roadways near Lake Morton.
Five of them were killed.
The older female swan that survived is being nursed back to health at Companion Animal Hospital.
“She is limping. She has lost some of her feathers on her sides,” Dr. Patricia Mattson told FOX 13 on Friday.
Mattson said it will be about a week before she can be released back into the lake. Another bird hit recently was not as lucky.
“She was having seizures when I saw her at the emergency clinic,” said Mattson. “She had to be euthanized.
Swans have been a symbol of Lakeland, dating back to the 1920s. Some were given as a gift from the Queen of England in the 50s.
There have been occasional instances of swans being hit by cars in the past, but the recent spate of deaths has people, especially those who live nearby, taking notice.
“Any swans injured or hurt is a concern,” said Julie Townshend, president of the Lake Morton Neighborhood Association. “We want to make sure we do anything we can to prevent people from speeding or not paying attention.”
Lakeland police say there is no evidence that the swans are being targeted. They say there are more swans on the lake these days and more traffic around it. About 4,600 vehicles a day use the road.
Police have stationed a temporary sign on the lake reminding drivers that the speed limit is 25 miles an hour.