An adult ewe was found alive in the mountain pastures in Reykjahlíðarheiði in the Mývatn district in Northeast Iceland last week. It had been trapped under a snow cover for 45 days, ever since an early snowstorm hit the region in mid-September.Archive photo courtesy of ICE-SAR search and rescue.
The ewe belongs to Birgir V. Hauksson, farmer at Hella in Mývatnssveit. He told ruv.is yesterday that the ewe is very skinny and too weak to have lambs next spring. However, it has started to eat, which is a good sign, so it looks as if it will survive.
It is considered incredible that sheep can survive for so long trapped under a cover of snow. There have been regular reports of sheep surviving under such conditions for weeks and 45 days is a new record.
In most such cases, the animals have been found in a hollow under the snow where they have been able to pick at some vegetation.