Fiona, a now-famous however no-longer-lonely British sheep, is on the middle of a social media frenzy in addition to a neighborhood dispute.
Farmers rescued her on Saturday by hoisting her up a hill after she spent at the very least two years by herself on the backside of a Scottish cliff, snacking on grass and hiding from the weather in a cave.
Fiona — so named as a result of a sheep named Shrek had been in an analogous place in New Zealand virtually 20 years in the past — has been moved to Dalscone Farm in Dumfries, about 25 miles north of the border with England, the place she is about to dwell out the remainder of her days.
Whereas it’s not identified how Fiona ended up on the backside of a cliff, it’s seemingly that she obtained separated from her mom earlier than falling or wandering down the hill and ended up on the backside with out a path again up.
“It’s simple to go down,” mentioned Cammy Wilson, a Scottish sheep farmer who was certainly one of Fiona’s rescuers. “It’s not as simple to return up.”
Fiona ended up spending at the very least two years down there in comparatively secure situations as a result of she had shelter, meals and water. She primarily lacked social interactions with fellow sheep or people.
A kayaker first noticed Fiona in 2021.
Mr. Wilson mentioned he determined to get 5 farmers collectively to rescue the lonely sheep after Fiona began to achieve notoriety on social media. He added that there had been some unfavourable feedback blaming farmers for not but rescuing her.
“Social media can do loopy issues,” he mentioned.
However Mr. Wilson and his fellow farmers weren’t the one ones attempting to rescue Fiona.
Animal Rising, an animal rights group within the U.Ok., had been scoping out the terrain as nicely and its members had change into acquainted with Fiona. Their plan for her house had been an animal sanctuary close to Glasgow.
“The perfect place for her is to go someplace the place she is free from a lot human interference,” mentioned Rose Patterson, a coordinator at Animal Rising.
At Dalscone Farm, she mentioned, animals had been used for human leisure.
“I simply wish to know that it’s assured that she shouldn’t be going to be exploited in any means,” Ms. Patterson added.
The farmers who rescued Fiona selected Dalscone Farm as a result of it livestreams its animals. This fashion, individuals who had been fearful about Fiona may see how she was doing at any time, Mr. Wilson mentioned.
Dalscone Farm will probably be closed for the winter season, so Fiona could have time to get used to animals and people being round her and lose some weight. Underneath that massive fleece, Fiona weighed about 203 kilos.
“She was extremely fats,” Mr. Wilson mentioned. “She ate a lot grass.”
Ben Finest, the pinnacle animal keeper and a farmer at Dalscone Farm, mentioned that Fiona wouldn’t be used for leisure and that she would dwell in a small pasture with 4 or 5 different sheep who could be handpicked based mostly on their temperament, reasonably than among the many 100 or so sheep on the farm.
“She’s not going to be an expertise for guests,” Mr. Finest mentioned. “That’s not what we would like for her.”
By way of the entire ordeal, Fiona has appeared unbothered.
Even when farmers sheared almost 20 kilos of wool from her, she barely moved a muscle, Mr. Wilson mentioned, including that it was frequent for a sheep to battle a bit throughout shearing.
“She did none of that,” he mentioned. “It’s loopy.”