Please sign and share to URGE TOP GOLF Myrtle Beach ( and ALL TOP GOLFS) to implement an alternative method that will stop birds from getting tangled in their netting. BOYCOT Top Golf until they implement other methods(see below for examples). Prevention is key. Prolonging the rescue of birds as TOPGOLF Myrtle Beach has repetitively done, causes more damage and illness to these birds. These approx 150 feet+ Nets surrounding TOPGOLF are extremely dangerous and are killing wildlife. There needs to be an alternative to prevent this from reoccurring. Without taking a very quick approach to rescuing an entangled bird, their chances of surviving decreases each minute.
On August 12, 2019 an Osprey was stuck in the netting at the Myrtle Beach TOP GOLF around 3PM until 2 am the next day. Approximately 100 degrees in the sun all day and dangling upside down, caused a lot of stress on this bird. Unfortunately this bird eventually was rescued and in transit to be examined but passed away. This could have been prevented.
Timeline from a direct source who was at Top Golf in 8/12/19:
3:00 Pm Osprey gets tangled into the netting at 150 feet at Top Golf Myrtle beach employees and manager knows this has occurred but do not act or assist. Customers arrived at 6:00 Pm: visualized the Osprey struggling in netting upside down and became concerned.
6:15 Pm customer asked waitress how long it has been struggling and stuck in the netting and waitress replies since at least 3:00 Pm. Waitress stated it was the same bird that has been getting stuck and that her mate circles around and checks on her; she stated a lot of people have been getting upset but there was nothing to be concerned about.
7:00 Pm: Upset customers call for help as Top Golf has not done so. Bystanders called Horry County animal control who told them They would have to call Myrtle Beach animal control; "I called Myrtle Beach police who stated they had already received a few calls from customers and have dispatched officers to assess the situation
Approx 7:30 Pm: "I still have not seen any activity or officers I decided to post to Horry County animal rescue Facebook page; I spoke to the waitress again and asked her how long it normally takes for the bird to get free from the net she then proceeded to tell me "to be honest with you I have never seen it stuck this long it has been there all day"
8:30 Pm: Carolina waterfowl rescue Volunteer arrived
9 o'clock WPDE news was there
10:15 Pm Myrtle Beach fire department was pulling onto the course. top golf had not yet closed but had stopped all activity. (This is now 6 hours later with top golf knowing the bird was stuck since 3 pm)
10:31 Pm Myrtle Beach fire Department was raising their ladder up to the bird
10:47 Pm Myrtle Beach fire Department was leaving the scene; top golf then finally made the decision to close the facility and people were exiting the building at approximately 1054 Pm
11:00 Pm concerned customers left the business
Approx 12:30 AM crane arrived to assist
Approx 2:00 AM Osprey was rescued from netting
Morning hours : Osprey passed away during transport to waterfowl sanctuary for care .
Sadly this ospreys mate is not going to see him ever again because of TOPGOLF.
This incident of the osprey stuck 150 ft up high at Top Golf in the netting that birds can barely visualize, was NOT the first incidence. This has happened before, according to multiple sources, and TopGolf did NOT directly call first responders or a wildlife rescue (upset customers did so) During the other previous incident that was reported via wildlife volunteer states "I responded to the call about the barred owl that was caught in the top golf Myrtle beach netting on March 24th 2019 . He was in there for over 12 hours, several times he landed on the ground and had they stopped operations I could have captured him quickly. However, they refused and told me I could come back at 2 am when they closed for the day. People were trying to hit him with the ball! He was left terrified clinging to the netting for dear life until he finally made his way to the top around 11pm. Sure he made it out, but he was stuck in there being tortured ALL day, when it could have been a quick rescue."
Unfortunately bystanders were the ones to complain about the birds struggling and flapping in the netting. Eventually a volunteer with waterfowl and wildlife came to the rescue each time but on August 12,2019 it did not end as well as the first time
Luckily the incident on August 12 was made VERY public, so TOPGOLF then assisted (since first responders could not reach the bird with their ladder)for a crane to reach this Osprey after 10-12 hours of dangling. This was now 12:30 am. The facts are that Top Golf did pay for the crane to help rescue the Osprey- and they sure made the public know their business did so. This was all over the news. Sadly, the question is if news crews and rescues were not surrounding the area, would that have really occurred ? They had already prolonged the rescue for hours (just like the last reported incident in March) until help was contacted by upset guests and did not close the business when it was first seen struggling. They Could have closed the business down mid day to get these birds rescued. This all shows Animal Cruelty.
According to multiple sources, TopGOLF frequently leaves smaller birds that are stuck in their netting to get out on their own, which can cause many birds to break their own wings and claws from the struggle which ultimately results in death. Smaller birds may not have as much a difficult time as larger birds such as owls, ospreys, hawks etc. these birds cannot see this dark netting. It's barely visible to them.
This osprey was finally rescued by using the crane to reach with a wildlife rescue volunteer at 2 am. Sadly it DIED shortly after while being transported to a wildlife sanctuary for proper care. It was too stressful on this bird To be upside down 150 feet on the air all day in the blistering sun. What a shame!
This osprey was hanging there struggling all day.
According to Carolina waterfowl Rescue, "We are incredibly sad to report that the osprey from top golf in Myrtle Beach died in transport. The cause of death is Capture/exertional Myopathy.
That is why we stress the importance of getting in quickly because animals cannot hang upside down and struggle for long periods of time. This is why animals die from stress or exertion when they're on glue traps or trapped in netting like this. It's so unfortunate after all of the effort that was made by rescuers to get this bird down that he didn't make it."
Main issues #1: Top Golf prolonged the rescue of the Osprey on 8/12/19. After several complaints to management, Several Customers had to contact first responders and wildlife rescues to get this bird rescued themselves. As news crews arrived and this became every public, is when TOPGOLF became involved and starting assisting. TopGOLF should have called authorities at 3 PM as they had ample time to get this osprey rescued. Instead, management team/Eddie at TOPGOLF director of operations stated "it happens all the time, it will fly away eventually. Nothing I can do." Once news crews began to arrive, is sadly when TOPGOLF started to take action. They yet did not Close until around 10:45 pm
Main issue -#2: An alternative method must be implemented as soon as possible to avoid this from occurring again. Myrtle beach is very close to the ocean and waters, so we have more waterfowl and birds migrating. TopGOLF needs to be respectful to this and familiar with these birds and the right thing to do in situations as such. Ospreys, like other migratory birds such as hawks and owls, are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They are found along shorelines like Myrtle Beach and marsh areas.
For example, A different enclosure can be put in place instead of this dark netting birds cannot see. An enclosure that moves up and down, a safer enclosure around that is removed in the evenings, lighting, reflectors , different color netting and a color fabric of some sort around any netting, noise makers to prevent birds, etc. I'm sure some bird experts can help come up with alternative ideas to be put in place with TOPGOLF nationwide or for TOPGOLF coastal locations/ as this has been a complaint at other Top Golf facilities as well.
Main issue #3: directors and employees of TOPGOLF clearly need to be educated on situations as such. These birds will not just fly away if they are entangled and injured from flapping and struggling for several hours. Larger birds such as ospreys can reach 180 cm on length of their wings. It is not easy to "just fly away" and untangle themself upside down 150 ft in the air. A manager should have taken direct action and been compassionate instead of ignoring this suffering bird. All Top Golfs should be aware of these situations and have an easy solution to fixing it. Adjustable netting may also help so there is easier access to rescuing these large birds if this happens again.
Main issue #4: TopGOLF did not close at 3 Pm when the bird was first seen, or offer to assist. instead let visitors keep on hitting golf balls while it was hanging upside down, completely stuck while the sun was beaming on him, no food , no water. They shut down slightly earlier then the usual closing time after the fire trucks and other methods were tried and failed.
Thousands of birds are injured or killed each year as the result of becoming tangled in a variety of man-made materials- especially netting. If birds become entangled they are essentially trapped and cannot free themselves without assistance. They are prevented from flying, walking, feeding and avoiding predators.
Prolonged entanglement can cause permanent physical damage to skin, feathers, muscles, nerves or bones. If able to free the bird, It is very likely that the bird has sustained an injury from the string, or netting, and needs to be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center for evaluation. The bird should be examined and treated for any damage that the entanglement may have caused (lacerations, infections, nerve or tissue damage).
According to news reports , this has been recorded to have happened in Virginia in 2016 at a TOP GOLF as well. Reports state "A representative with Top Golf said they are working to install noise boxes, commonly referred to as "sqauwk boxes" around the facility to help deter birds from getting close to the netting." Was that ever put into place ? We are still waiting to hear back on if that was even implemented.
LETS get every TOPGOLF to install those
Here are some devastating facts from bystanders at Top Golf:
Someone from Top Golf on 8/12/19 posted
"My family was there... saw it. The poor bird flapped for HOURS struggling in the direct hot sun. Top Golf admitted it "happens all of the time" and the bird would be gone by morning. We asked why not save it alive? You'll have to find a way to get it down when it's dead- so how about make the effort now?!? Manager "Eddie" could have cared less. Servers and golf pros were more concerned than management. Happens all of the time- yet no effort towards prevention!"
Another lady states- "They're waiting for top golf to finish their business day and then will close and allow the rescue. It was also said that Top Golf does not close for these incidents so that tells me there's a repeated issue here that needs remedied somehow."
More comments stating "It was reported to management at 3pm, Top Golf Management's response was 'it happens all of time ... hawks, owls, deer'. It was BLAZING hot... and the poor bird flapped for HOURS in the direct sun, upside down, while guests watched it happen in horror. A CUSTOMER called the first responders, not Top Golf. The CUSTOMER called because management brushed it off. At 5 pm.. after 2 HOURS of distress... EDDIE the Director of Operations said 'it would fly away eventually' and NO MORE he could do. It wasn't until CUSTOMERS got the media involved that Top Golf took action. The bird was up there from 3 pm until 2:30 AM. Point being.. Topgolf had AMPLE time to respond and assist in the situation. The Osprey is a federally protected bird under the Migratory Bird Act. I realize other Topgolf locations may not have the same problem, but we are close to the beach and other bodies of water, thus more prone to wildlife. Our 'attractions' need to be held to a higher standard when protecting our natural inhabitants. Sorry display of corporate culture from Top Golf."
There needs to be a solution executed quickly to fix this and keep it from happening again.
*boycott top golf until alternatives are put in place. Not just at Myrtle beach , but all of the locations ! This is an ongoing situation and it is killing wildlife.