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Britain's loneliest sheep rescued after Brora woman's plea for help went viral

By Caroline McMorran

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Britain's loneliest sheep has been rescued from a remote shore near Sutherland after her plight was highlighted by a Brora animal lover.

The sheep, now named Fiona, had been stranded at the foot of cliffs on the Cromarty Firth for at least two years.

An animal welfare charity had said any attempts to rescue her would be "incredibly complex".

But a group of five men have now managed to haul her up a steep slope. They plan to shear her overgrown fleece and hand her over to a farm park.

The sheep, named Fiona, is said to be in good condition.
The sheep, named Fiona, is said to be in good condition.

The rescue mission was organised by Cammy Wilson, a sheep shearer from Ayrshire, after seeing media coverage of the ewe's plight.

Mr Wilson, who is a presenter on the BBC's Landward programme, organised the rescue in a personal capacity along with four others.

Speaking in the video posted on Facebook, he said: "We've come up here with some with some heavy equipment and we've got this sheep up an incredibly steep slope.

"She's in incredible condition. She is about a condition score of about 4.5, she is over fat - it was some job lifting her up that slope.

"She is going to a very special place that a lot of you know very well, where you'll be able to see her virtually every day."

The Scottish SPCA said they had been aware of the ewe being stranded at the bottom of the cliff for some time but were unable to find a safe way to rescue her.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "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.

"The team brought the ewe up successfully and our inspector examined her.

"Thankfully the sheep is in good bodily condition, aside from needing to be sheared. She will now be taken to a specialist home within Scotland to rest and recover."

The sheep made national headlines after a kayaker took a photograph and shared concerns about her welfare.

Jill Turner, from Brora, told the Northern Times she first came across the ewe while kayaking in 2021.

She was shocked to discover she was still there two years later, and pleaded for someone to rescue her.

A petition calling for a rescue operation has gathered more than 53,000 signatures.

The full story of the rescue will be told on the BBC's Landward programme, due to broadcast on BBC Scotland on 16 November and BBC One Scotland the following day.

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