Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Animals

A swimming shepherd saves a drowning ram during the weekend’s sheep roundup

By Staff

  • Tending to the flock A good shepherd ensures his entire flock makes it home. Photo/Jósef Valgarð Þorvaldsson - Facebook

The annual sheep roundup is drawing to a close as the last sheep are herded back from the highlands, mountains and heaths where they have spent the summer. But although the Icelandic winter can get pretty tough, especially high in the mountains, every year some sheep stubbornly refuse to be herded home.

Related: Watch a curious video of an Icelandic sheep round up in action

Sheep attempt to escape swimming
During the weekend’s roundup in Fljótsdalur valley in Eastern Iceland a young ram ran off from the rest of the flock. The group of sheep ran into Fellsá river in an attempt to swim over. The shepherds managed get all the sheep back in line with the help of their sheepdogs. Only the young ram refused to listen and ventured further off from the flock. In his attempt to escape the young ram seems to have overestimated his swimming skills, as he was unable to cross the river, quickly getting himself in too deep water. 

sundsmali
Saving the ram from the river The young ram wasn't as strong a swimmer as had believed. Photo/Jósef Valgarð Þorvaldsson - Facebook

Sveinn Ingimundarson, the farmer of Sturluflöt farm told The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV that since the young ram was clearly about to drown in the river the shepherds were faced with either shooting it or swimming out into the river to save him.

“Since I was wearing a flotation suit I decided to go get him.” Sveinn swam into the river to save the ram which was not enjoying his swim one bit. “He was exhausted when I got to him, so I had to swim with him back to shore. I had to hold his head above water so that he could breathe.”

Sveinn told RÚV that despite this perilous journey the ram seemed to be quick to regain his strength.

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