Fantasy Isle is an ice cream and mini golf shop in Holden Beach, North Carolina. You'd think ice cream and mini golf would be fun enough on its own. But as of last summer, they also have a little something extra.
“She came down and just got friendly with customers,” said co-owner Scott Martin. And then she “ultimately took (a customer's) ice cream cone back up the tree.” And just like with people, once the squirrel discovered ice cream, there was no going back.
They've name the squirrel Putter (get it?), and now she comes by at least once a day to get some more of her beloved dairy treat. And owners Scott and Pam Martin are happy to oblige. “We are blessed to have her,” Scott said.
To get Putter to come by, they just have to shout. “You can call her name and she will literally come out of her nest in one of these big trees,” Scott said. Then Putter will “hop her way down to the roof ultimately to the rail and waits on her cone.”
But Putter doesn't just hang out in the ice cream side of things. ““She actually plays golf with the kids,” Scott said. “She will run around the golf course and play with the golf balls. She’s a cute little mascot.”
And Putter's become a star attraction at Fantasy Isle. “The first thing they ask for, 'Is Putter here?'” Pam said. “'Have you seen Putter today?' So they come. They know she's here and they want to see her.”
And who can blame Putter for indulging in ice cream as much as possible? Sure, nuts are okay, but if free ice cream is an option, you're going to take it. It's just human nature, and also squirrel nature.
Birkhead added that keeping animals cautious around people is good for their safety. “We want wild animals to be wary of people, because that’s going to protect them and protect people,” she said. “You want to keep wild animals wild.”
However, Scott said that giving Putter a cone a day keeps her from stealing more food. And they put up signs instructing customers to not feed Putter. “We are trying to control it,” he said, “instead of her getting way too much food."
13. See Putter
If you want to see more of Putter, you can watch the full video here. And if you want to visit Fantasy Isle, just head to Holden Beach.
Just make sure you protect your ice cream when Putter's around.