A city in Florida is selling dozens of swans after a pair donated by the Queen in 1957 had too many descendants for them to cope with.
Lakeland, which has a swan as its symbol, gratefully received the first two birds decades ago but now is unable to afford the annual $10,000 cost of feeding them.
It is selling 36 in a public lottery to reduce overcrowding at Lake Morton, the swans’ home.
Kevin Cook, a city spokesman, told the New York Times: “The lake can only handle so many birds.”
Swans were synonymous with Lakeland, which has a human population of 112,000, a century ago.
But many were eaten by alligators and dogs, and by the 1950s they were all gone.
A woman in Lakeland, whose husband had been stationed in the UK with the US Air Force, wrote to the Queen asking if she could donate any swans.