Pictures surfacing showing abuse of Lakeland's swans - FOX 13 News

Pictures surfacing showing abuse of Lakeland's swans

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

The swans of Lakeland attract thousands of admirers to Lake Morton each year. Many people snap pictures of the elegant, long-necked birds as souvenirs.

However, new surveillance cameras show shocking photos of people going way too far to check the birds out.

"Who knows what the individuals were thinking as they're harassing the swans," said Lakeland City spokesman, Kevin Cook.

One set of photos taken at night shows a guy grabbing a nesting swan by the neck, so his buddy can take pictures of the bird's eggs.

That infuriates snowbird and animal lover Ellis Gibson.

"People that abuse them, I think they should be abused right back," Gibson said.

The city installed cameras on the lake about a month ago. The two incidents happened in the first two weeks. When the city realized it had a problem, it put up signs telling people to back off and stop the harassment.

If they bother the swans and get caught, they could face up to $500 or 60 days in jail.

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