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Five farmers rally to save 'world's loneliest sheep' who spent 2 years stranded by herself

A wonderful story of humans helping animals.

Fiona the sheep, animal rescue, britains loneliest sheep
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Fiona the sheep had been stranded for two years all by herself.

Sheep are hardy, resilient animals. Depending on the breed, they thrive in the driest of desserts and snowiest of planes. But being highly social animals, one thing they cannot tolerate is isolation.

So imagine poor Fiona, a sheep who spent more than two years in solitude at the bottom of a cliff in Scotland.

Dubbed Britain's, then the world’s “loneliest sheep,” Fiona had become something of a local legend—first spotted by a kayaker in 2021, and then again two years later, not malnourished and in good condition, but with badly overgrown fleece and in need of a good shearing.

How exactly Fiona became stuck at the bottom of a cliff was a mystery. But hauling her out was an even more confounding problem.

Despite over 50,000 people signing a petition to rescue Fiona, the Scottish SPCA called the safety logistics “incredibly complex” due to the terrain being so inaccessible, not to mention any human interaction likely causing extreme stress for the stranded rescuee.

That’s when a group of five farmers—including sheep farmer and BBC presenter Cammy Wilson, and Youtube star Graeme Parker— took things into their own hands.

With a whole lotta rope, and a whole lotta patience, the team successfully found Fiona in a cave (a little overweight, perhaps eating her lonely feelings a bit) and hoisted her up the steep cliff to safety.

Watch the harrowing resc-ewe mission below. Gotta say, the drone footage makes it look even more epic.

Fiona was then taken to Dalscone Farm Fun, a new forever home, where her new owner, Ben Best, dubbed her healthy and relaxed, even if she “could lose a few pounds.” (“As it Happens, CBC Radio)

Though animal rights activists did show concern with Fiona’s new living situation, likening it closer to a “petting zoo” than the sanctuary she deserved, Best affirmed that was not the case, saying "It's effectively a farm where people can go and visit the animals, but they don't go in amongst the animals.”

He also added that she would be kept away from the public eye for five-to-six months, and not step into the limelight until she’s ready for it.

And there you have it, folks. Fiona might have once been the world’s loneliest sheep, but now she’s living it up like the star she is.

True

Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

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