“Fiona,” as the lost sheep is now called, melted hearts. The ewe lived for two years in all weathers on the rocky coast of Sutherland, on the eastern border of the Scottish Highlands. From her kayak, Gillian Turner saw the sheep twice, two years ago and again recently. The animal, kept warm with a huge layer of fur, seemed to need company as it kept track of Turner and her fellow kayakers.
Turner told her story to the regional press and informed emergency services, including animal protection and a Scottish Highlands rescue charity. All these authorities showed sympathy, but said they could do nothing. She described the rescue operation as “extremely difficult.” Moreover, the animal was said to have become accustomed to loneliness. There was a lot of grazing and the caves provided protection.
Not everyone thinks this way. The British hovercraft company said last week that it plans to remove the sheep. First, money had to be raised. Meanwhile, Cami Wilson, a sheep farmer and TV presenter from southwest Scotland, has also taken action. He and four other farmers managed to pull Fiona out of the abyss. “She is in incredible shape,” he said, adding that she is a little overweight.
The aim is to rehome Fiona at Dalscon Petting Zoo in Dumfries, also in Scotland, where she will receive five-star treatment and can be gently introduced to other sheep. However, the arrival of Fiona, who has the blessing of animal protection, has been delayed, as animal rights activists have blocked access to the farm since Sunday because they believe the sheep are being commercially exploited.
The farmer, who wants to adopt the sheep, said in a post on Facebook that his family is receiving threatening phone calls. The police have now been called. Fiona has to wait a little longer.