Orange Co. firefighters, Top Golf, SeaWorld team up to save hawk

ORLANDO, Fla. — When a red-tailed hawk became trapped in a net at Orlando’s Top Golf on Wednesday morning, firefighters decided to “wing it” and come up with a unique rescue plan.

“It just goes to show that when our firefighters come to work, they don’t know what the day will bring,” said Mike Jachles with Orange County Fire and Rescue.

Around 8 a.m. workers at Top Golf on Universal Blvd. noticed a hawk caught in a net about 50 feet up at the end of a driving range.  Orange County Fire and Rescue reached out to SeaWorld and the Orange County Convention Center to help in their operation.

“The plan was devised to send some of the SeaWorld workers up in a lift that the Orange County Convention Center brought over,” Jachles said.  “They had to work for several minutes to free the hawk.  They got a hold on him, brought him down to the ground and got him in a cage.”

Firefighters were waiting on the ground with a tarp as a backup plan in case the hawk fell, but it didn’t happen.

“Fortunately it had a good outcome,” Jachles said.

The red-tailed hawk was taken back to SeaWorld for their veterinarians to check out.  They told Jachles they’d give the bird fluids and eventually release it in the area from where it was rescued.

“This is definitely one of the more peculiar animal rescue calls,” Jachles admitted.

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