Five ewes whose wool was frozen were found recently in the pass Gönguskarð between the valleys leading out of Eyjafjörður and Bleiksmýrardalur in northeast Iceland. Farmers in the region are missing other sheep and intend to look for them over the holidays.
Rams in the snow by lake Mývatn. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Knútur Þórhallsson from Kambsstaðir in Þingeyjarsveit, who found the ewes with his brother, told ruv.is that they had been in fairly good shape in spite of being partially frozen. They used skidoos while looking for the sheep.
“At first they ran away from us and managed to cover a few hundred meters until they were cut off by a snowdrift and couldn’t get any further. Then we caught them and put them on the skidoos,” Knútur described the search mission.
“The wool keeps them warm and of course they can survive [outside] the entire winter under certain conditions in spite of significant frost. There is not as much snow further to the south and they can nibble on the mountain moss,” Knútur said.
The search will continue as soon as the farmers get the chance over the holidays; a few ewes and their lambs are still missing from the roundup in the autumn.
Farmers put a lot of effort into finding sheep that escaped sheep herders in the autumn before winter sets in; some farmers went missing in bad weather on such a search mission recently but had made it to a cabin before the worst snowstorm hit.
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