A sheep was stranded for more than two years on a shingle beach at the foot of a cliff in northern Scotland. Last Saturday, she was rescued by a group of five farmers. When the animal was rehomed, some people said that the sheep did not get the happy ending it deserved.
Fiona, dubbed “Britain’s loneliest sheep” by the media, hit the headlines last month when Brory resident Jill Turner spotted her again while kayaking.
After the case was covered by the media, first local and then national, over 50,000 people signed an online petition calling for a rescue operation. It was organized by Cammy Wilson, a sheep shearer from Ayrshire, and four colleagues. The sheep were rescued on Saturday, November 4. The animal was then taken to Dalscone Farm Fun located near Dumfries in Scotland. Animal rights activists did not agree with this decision.
Protests by animal rights activists
On Sunday, seven members of the animal rights organization Animal Rising staged a protest outside Dalscone Farm Fun, calling for Fiona to be moved to an asylum instead of a petting zoo. According to the organization on social media, the owner of the land where Fiona was staying initially agreed to transport the animal to the sanctuary, but later secretly arranged transport to Dalscone Farm Fun.
“While we are glad she is no longer trapped at the foot of a cliff, she has just gone from isolation to exploitation,” the activists wrote. – It is inappropriate that she was taken to the zoo to become a spectacle.
The Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals (SSPCA) also commented on the matter and explained that Fiona would be kept in conditions suitable for animals after similar experiences. Immediately after the rescue, an SSPCA inspector examined the sheep – it was healthy, but urgently needed shearing. The organization said it would regularly check how Fiona is feeling and whether she is under excessive stress.
Representatives of Dalscone Farm Fun did not respond to the allegations. However, they regularly post videos on social media showing the animal’s progress. “Away from the media noise, we are putting a lot of work into getting to know Fiona. She has already fallen in love with life at Dalscone,” they wrote in a post accompanying a video showing the sheep eating treats from her caretaker’s hand.
She lived alone for over two years
Jill Turner saw a sheep for the first time while kayaking in 2021. She told local newspaper The Northern Times that she assumed at the time that the animal would return to its home on its own and thought nothing more about it, but when she swam the same route again recently, to her horror she spotted it again. – She mooed when she saw us and followed our group along the shore, jumping from rock to rock, whistling at us the whole way. The poor sheep had been alone for at least two years, it must be torture for a herd animal, and she seemed desperate to make contact with us on the two occasions we passed her, Turner said.
>>> READ MORE: A sheep trapped under a cliff for two years was rescued
ENEX, theguardian.com, SSPCA, Animal Rising, Dalscone Farm
Main photo source: ENEX