A recent report has revealed that a sheep has been rescued from the bottom of a Scottish cliff after spending years living in isolation.
Named Fiona, the sheep had lived at the location for over two years before five farmers decided to rescue her.
Social media has since reacted differently to Fiona's current location in a farm park. Some feel that she would be adequately taken care of there, while others want her to be moved to a sanctuary.
Authorities Felt It Was Too Dangerous To Rescue The Sheep
After spending two years without human contact, a sheep named Fiona has been rescued and taken to a farm park.
Fiona was previously living at the base of a cliff near the shores of Cromarty Firth in the Scottish Highlands when she caught the attention of kayaker Jillian Turner. Reports indicate this was the exact location where Fiona was sighted two years prior.
Filled with compassion for her situation, Turner raised awareness, hoping to get Fiona rescued. The news got to relevant authorities, such as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Still, a rescue operation was not initiated as Fiona's location was thought to be too steep to access without harm.
It was all but certain that Fiona was going to spend the winter all alone once again. However, a group of five farmers, namely, Graeme Parker, James Parker, Cammy Wilson, Als Couzens, and Ally Williamson, decided to take matters into their own hands.
The Rescue Operation
The rescue operation reportedly lasted several days after permission was obtained from Fiona's owner.
First, the farmers attempted to reach the sheep via sea. However, they shut down the idea because it wasn't safe or quicker for the sheep.
Ultimately, they used an all-terrain vehicle with a winch attached to it to lower themselves down the cliffside.
"We weren't exactly sure what we were going to find when we got there. All we had to go on was drone footage," one of the farmers said about the rescue operation, per People.
The farmer added, "When we got down there, sure enough, Fiona was... right in the middle of the cave in a little patch of sunlight that's coming through a craggy hole in the ceiling of the cave."
Subsequently, they placed the sheep in an open bag and slowly dragged her up safely to the top.
Where Is The Sheep's Current Location?
Following her rescue, Fiona has been living in a farm park in Dumfries. She was kept in a pen away from other animals, although she would be slowly integrated in the future.
She has also been provided with a health check and has been sheared off her two years' worth of wool.
Regarding Fiona's current status, one of the farmers said they have been "blown away" by how she has adapted since her rescue.
The farmer noted in an interview with Sky News, "We've all been absolutely blown away by how stress-free she is [and] how natural she feels around us and she feels completely comfortable."
The general belief among the farmers is that Fiona will have a "longer and happier" life in her new home.
Social Media Reaction To Her Rescue
I spent yesterday morning with Britain’s loneliest sheep in her new home and frankly it was delightful pic.twitter.com/FwrdCJrm8T
— Barnaby Papadopulos (@BarnabyPap) November 7, 2023
In the meantime, there have been mixed reactions on social media to Fiona's current place of abode. Many have asked for her to be taken to a sanctuary instead of being kept at a farm park.
"Petting zoo, petting farm - feels like semantics to me. The point stands, she could be in a loving, peaceful sanctuary now but instead, she's being prepared to be an attraction," the Animal Rising group commented in a post.
A supporter added, "Sheep unaccustomed to human contact would find being petted very scary and the natural instinct would be to flee. Poor "Sheepie will be trapped. Far better for her to have the peace and quiet of an animal sanctuary."
Some other individuals are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with Fiona's current location.
One person said, "It is a farm where all animals in their care are very very well looked after and she would be no different. She will be allowed plenty of time to settle in and slowly introduced to other sheep and other animals if she is ready for it. ALL of her needs will be met."
Another person commented, "There won't be daily visitors. It's shut to the public until late March! She won't be slaughtered and will live with other sheep. So what's the problem."