A sheep stranded for more than two years on a cliff in the Highlands has been rescued.
The animal, named Fiona by her rescuers, had earned the moniker of “Britain’s loneliest sheep”.
But the ewe is now back on dry land and on her way to a farm park after being rescued from a cliff near Brora, in Sutherland, on Saturday morning.
A group with climbing expertise – dubbed The Sheep Game – used specialist equipment to rescue the sheep, with representatives from the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) also on hand to ensure the animal’s welfare.
Local woman Jill Turner first encountered the ewe when it bleated out to her at the foot of steep cliffs while she was kayaking along the Moray Firth’s east Highland coast in 2021.
A petition calling for the sheep’s rescue subsequently gained more than 50,000 signatures.
A Scottish SPCA spokesperson 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.
“This is not something that our own inspectorate have the experience or equipment to be able to do ourselves, so we were not involved in the rescue itself, but we did attend to ensure the welfare of the animal.
“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.
“We are delighted that the sheep, who the rescue group have named Fiona is safe and well, ready to start her new life.
“We’re very grateful to the team who rescued the sheep, although we must stress that they were only able to do so as they were experienced climbers. We would like to remind the public not to attempt any rescue that might endanger themselves, or an animal, during the process.
“Anyone who is concerned about an animal should call our helpline on 03000 999 999.”
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