Confusion over 200 missing sheep in Saaremaa (2)

Vilsandi Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
12/10/2015 3:35 PM
Category: Environment

One of Estonia's largest sheep herding companies, Saaremaa Ökoküla, has reported 200 missing sheep to the police. Locals say not all is in order.

Meelis Laido, head of the company, said the sheep have gone missing from Vilsandi island and coastal areas in western Saaremaa, adding that no carcasses have been found, Saarte Hääl reported.

Avo Piisk, Vilsandi island ranger, said stories of missing sheep date back to 2008 when the flock was first brought to Vilsandi by Ökoküla, adding that in his opinion, the sheep have never been counted for and since Ökoküla receives state money the missing sheep might never have even arrived to the island.

Piisk said pasture areas on the islands have gone downhill in recent years and Ökoküla did not come to check up on the herd this summer, having visited a few times in previous summers.

Ökoküla is being paid by the state to keep plant growth in check on the island by bringing sheep to eat overgrown vegetation. Elle Roosaluste from the University of Tartu surveyed the area in the summer and said the situation is far from ideal as the low number of sheep have allowed vegetation to grow out of hand.

J.M. Laats

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