FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – A Sunday evening rescue mission of an osprey stuck on a Folly Beach cell phone tower turned into a Monday afternoon recovery.
Wildlife advocates on the island got called on Sunday evening after people reported a bird stuck in the tower. Some say there were two birds stuck, but only one was there when News 2 arrived on scene.
At first, it was believed to be caught in a fence, a more simple rescue for wildlife advocates Carol Linville and Vanessa Oltmann who have rescued dozens of birds on the bird sanctuary that is Folly Beach.
“So I came over here with my towels, my gloves, and a carrier ready to get him off the fence, and low and behold he was up in the tower on the grid plank,” said Oltmann, a nature lover and wildlife advocate.
Oltmann and Linville called the fire department for assistance in helping the osprey to safety, but the ladder wasn’t tall enough.
“It was gut-wrenching to watch him for over an hour struggle to break loose. But he just couldn’t. He was caught by one foot in the grid hanging upside down,” said Carol Linville, the CEO of Pet Helpers and a wildlife advocate.
Oltmann was able to arrange an emergency tower crew to come and help recover the bird. Two men with Southern Tower Services drove up from Atlanta on Monday morning and arrived just after noon.
Another concern from Linville and Oltmann was what was going on in the nest at the top of the tower.
“Best case is that the babies are okay,” said Linville. “Maybe they’ve hatched and they’re circling that nest because we have some circling.”
“We’d rather nature take its own course and then we don’t have to worry about recovering the eggs, making sure they’re incubated correctly, and you take that risk of injuring the babies inside,” said Oltmann.
The nest is reportedly empty.
“We determined the nest was empty. So the eggs hatched and we believe the three or four that are flying around the nest are probably the babies,” said Linville.
A bittersweet story ending on a positive note. Oltmann says this is an opportunity for people to learn about the protected species as well as other wildlife.
“I’m happy that the babies are safe and I’m sad about this bird,” said Oltmann. “It takes a community of people learning about how important it is for us to take care of our wildlife and marine life.”