LAKELAND, Fla. — The City of Lakeland is looking for solutions after six swans were recently struck by vehicles around Lake Morton. Five of the birds died.
- Swans are city's mascot
- Drivers use Lake Morton as cut-through to and from downtown
- City exploring all options to slow traffic
Swans are the city’s mascot. They are loved by residents who visit the city’s lakes.
"They are a real special part of Lakeland and they are incredible animals,” said resident Cathleen Nelson. Nelson takes her children to Lake Morton to do school work, and they all love the dozens of swans there.
Nelson said they are bothered by the recent accidents. Her daughter, Sophia, is particularly bothered.
“Really, really upset. Like really mad,” Nelson explained.
Nelson believes many people are not paying attention as they use Lake Morton Drive as a cut-through to and from downtown.
"And the kind of carelessness that it would take to hit an animal that big is pretty significant,” she said.
City staffers will meet with a representative of the Lake Morton Neighborhood Association Thursday. The association will then take up the issue at its meeting Sept. 25.
City spokesman Kevin Cook said the city is looking for ways to slow down traffic around the lake.
"Because of the number of cars, speed humps may not work, but we are going to look at everything,” Cook said.
Options include some kind of traffic calming device.
The swan that was struck by a vehicle and survived was treated by the vet that cares for the city’s swans. It was released back into the Lake Tuesday.