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LAKELAND, Florida (WFLA) — New signs dot the banks of Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida warning people not to feed or touch nesting swans. City officials say the signs are necessary in the wake of recent surveillance images that show people harassing the birds.
“Last year we had a real issue. We had dozens of swan eggs stolen or damaged,” said Lakeland spokesman Kevin Cook. “This year we thought we’d be a little proactive, and as each mating pair of swans, as they were building their nests we went and set up some game cameras so we could kind of watch and see what takes place.”
What the city found was pretty disturbing.
“Well we’ve got some footage of some individuals actually grabbing a swan by the neck and pulling it off the nest so they can take pictures of the eggs, and that was done at night,” Cook said.
City officials say even families have been caught on camera harassing the nesting swans.