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Lakeland's rare baby swan is missing and officials fear it may be stolen

Posted at 3:41 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 18:19:00-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland’s rare black-necked cygnet is missing.

For years the city has been trying to get the breed of swan to reproduce and finally did in February when Lakeland’s first black-necked cygnet hatched.

The type of swan is so rare because the breed are not attentive parents.

After the city put the egg in an incubator, the cygnet successfully became Lakeland’s new famous baby swan.

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The last time the fuzzy cygnet was seen was Wednesday night around 8:30 p.m. just days after it was put in the swan cages along Lake Morton to get acclimated to the lake.

It’s “swan-father” Steve Platt, who cares for the swans, noticed the rare swan was missing Thursday morning around sunrise.

According to the city, it’s near impossible for the swan and other water fowl to escape the cages because the fencing runs all the way under water and is built into concrete barriers.

But, when Lakeland Police sent divers in to check the cages, small holes were found.

Kevin Cook, with the City of Lakeland, says that may be the case but swans are not known to dive under water like ducks.

Unfortunately, there are no surveillance cameras monitoring the area. Cook says that will change.

The rare black-necked swan is worth about $4,000.

The city asks if you have any information on the missing cygnet, to call police or City Hall.