Iceland Unicorn might go to the slaughterhouse

Einhyrningur is slim, and not good for breeding according to …

Einhyrningur is slim, and not good for breeding according to his owner. Photo: Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir

The ram Einhyrningur (English: Unicorn) found last Christmas wandering Icelandic mountains, became famous overnight following Iceland Monitor’s coverage of this unusual beast.

Einhyrningur has one great horn sprouting from the middle of his forehead, rather than two from the side the head as is common for Icelandic sheep. Hence the name.

He has been quite himself over the last few days, according to his owner, farmer Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir, and hasn't let the fame get to his head.

Not built for breeding

Even though Einhyrningur has acquired world fame he is not likely to survive longer than till next autumn. As reported by our sister publication,  Ólafsdóttir says that even though he’s good tempered and stands up to the other rams, though they are a bit rough on him, he isn’t built for breeding. He is too skinny and should have been sent to the slaughterhouse if he hadn’t accidentally been left in the mountains when the sheep were rounded up last autumn.

Ólafsdóttir says she is open to the option of selling him, if anyone is interested, but that might be complicated. Iceland is divided into protective zones to prevent diseases spreading. There are strict rules on moving sheep between different zones and it's forbidden to move sheep from the zone Einhyrningur comes from.

The kids on the farm feeding Einhyrningur.

The kids on the farm feeding Einhyrningur. Photo: Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir

Can't move to Reykjavik Park and Zoo

Tómas Ó. Guðjónsson biologist at Reykjavik Park and Zoo says an older gentleman stopped by yesterday offering to cost Einhyrningur’s move from the farm to the Zoo, but that is not possible. The farm and Reykjavik are in different protective zones, which makes it strictly forbidden to transfer him to Reykjavik. This was confirmed by Iceland Food and Veterinary Authority.

Will live if other farmer in the zone buys him

Ólafsdóttir isn’t at all surprised that people want him to live, as he is now rather famous, “I can well understand some people want him to live on.”

There’s still hope, as Einhyrningur may be moved within the protective zone, some other farmer in the area might be willing to buy him.

Einhyrningur with the other sheep at the farm.

Einhyrningur with the other sheep at the farm. Photo: Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir




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