Fiona was first spotted in 2021, and after two years of loneliness, she’s finally been rescued. ‘Lonely no more; she has lots of friends here,' said Cammy Wilson, who led the rescue effort.
A solitary existence is no one’s first choice of living their lives. Neither was it Fiona’s, the loneliest sheep of Britain. Stuck since 2021 at the foot of the remote Cromarty Firth cliff in the Scottish highlands, Fiona was finally rescued on Saturday by a team of Scottish farmers supervised by the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The miraculous rescue story first broke on The Sheep Game where a video of the rescue shows a team of four sheep farmers, Graeme Parker, Als Couzens, Ally Williamson and James Parker.
They made up the rescue team led by Cammy Wilson, a sheep shearer from Ayrshire. Wilson shared in the video, “We've come up here with some heavy equipment and we've got the sheep up an incredible slope.” He also described Fiona’s condition as “incredible” and added, “She is about a condition score of about 4.5, she is over fat - it was some job lifting her up that slope. Lonely no more, she has lots of friends here."
The Scottish SPCA posted on X (formerly Twitter), “This morning the Scottish SPCA were in attendance at the hillside after they were made aware that a group of individuals with climbing expertise were attempting to rescue the stranded sheep by descending down to where she was trapped.” According to The Northern Times, the ewe was first spotted two years back by Jillian Turner near the Cromarty Firth cliff. Turner first caught sight of the sheep while canoeing near the cliff in 2021. She shared, “About half a mile before turning into the Cromarty Firth, we spotted a sheep on a shingle beach at the bottom of some steep, rocky coastline. She saw us coming and was calling to us along the length of the beach following our progress until she could go no further. She finally turned back, looking defeated.”
🐾We're delighted to update that the sheep stranded near Brora has been successfully rescued this morning.— Scottish SPCA 🐾 (@ScottishSPCA) November 4, 2023
Thank you to everyone who offered their support, you can read our full statement below: pic.twitter.com/Mhd6Wm2NBe
Turner further explained that at that moment, she didn’t think that the sheep would be stranded for two years. However, when she embarked upon another canoeing journey recently, she was “horrified” to see the “poor ewe” still there. She said, “She called out on our approach and once again followed the group along the shore jumping from rock to rock, calling to us the whole way.” She noticed that on her first encounter, Fiona’s fleece was “a normal year’s growth” but this time, “the fleece was huge and touching the ground at the back.” She added: “The poor ewe has been on her own for at least two years – for a flock animal that has to be torture and she seemed desperate to make contact with us on the two occasions we’ve gone past her.”
Looks like Fiona had some time to introspect about life and meditate amidst the beauty of the Scottish highlands. However, as a social being, Fiona deserves some life around her and finally, she’s broken free from the prison of solitude, to once again join the circus of human civilization.