Countryfile: Adam Henson talks about getting new sheepdog
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An unnamed hero has been pictured risking his life to save a sheep that was drowning after being chased into a river by a dog that had escaped its owner. The middle-aged man dived into the “freezing cold” water of the River Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales to rescue the wayward sheep, eventually getting it free of the “fast-flowing” current.
Leslie Flower caught the unidentified man’s heroism on camera, and said the sheep had fallen into the river while trying to escape the clutches of a dog that was “barking” and “biting” it. He said it was just as the woolly animal’s head had sunk beneath the water that the man, who was not the dog’s owner, swam across the rapids and saved its life.
While Mr Flower said he had no idea who the sheep-saver was, he said he should be “recognised” for his bravery.
Mr Flower, from North Wales, said: “This chap risked his life to save the sheep and at no point did he think of his own safety. He was so brave and deserves to be recognised for his brave achievement.”
He had been staying nearby for a few days before seeing the incredible scene at Linton Falls, near Grassington, North Yorkshire, on Saturday. Mr Flower said that the dog was the first thing he noticed, realising it had “escaped from its owner” and was “chasing a sheep along the river bank”.
He explained how the sheep “eventually ran into the river with the dog barking and biting it and being so scared it ran towards the fast-flowing part of the river with the dog also following it. The rapids immediately took both of them down the river but the sheep was struggling because its wool was soaked which meant it could not swim.
“The dog got to the side and ran onto the rocks but the sheep was turned upside down because of the weight of its sodden wool.”
But just as it seemed the sheep had reached an untimely end, a “chap on the bank” appeared. Mr Flower said he “ran into the water to save the sheep” and “braved the fast-flowing river, wading across the freezing cold water.”
He said that at one point, the man “fell down, which could have been disastrous.” But eventually he reached the “distressed sheep, which was very close to drowning”.
After turning the sheep over so it could breathe, he “eventually managed to drag it over to the bank where it started to recover”. Leslie said a younger person had previously been walking the dog before it slipped its leash and dashed toward the livestock.
He hoped that the incident would remind people to keep their dogs under control, especially near farm animals.
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