City of Lakeland's baby black-necked swan is missing

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A baby swan -- the first black-necked cygnet ever hatched from a city incubator in Lakeland -- has disappeared, city officials say.

It was first thought to be stolen from a protective structure near Lake Morton, but as people searched for the bird, gaps were found where the swan could possibly have escaped -- or a predator could possibly have entered.

The baby swan hatched sometime in April, which brought a sense of pride for the city. The cygnet was the first successful hatching of its kind for the city.

“Our black neck swans aren’t the best parents and it’s difficult to have a successful captive breeding program with this breed,” said Steve Platt, a grounds maintenance supervisor with the city – who is also known as the “Swanfather.” “This is the first time in the 22 years that I’ve been with the city that we actually have a black neck baby."

It’s very rare for an egg to survive incubation at all. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lakeland police at 863-834-6900.