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OUTDOORS

Sheep saved from cliff in dramatic chopper rescue

Six sheep were hoisted to safety by helicopter on Sunday, after weeks spent stranded on a steep mountain cliff edge.

Sheep saved from cliff in dramatic chopper rescue

The farmer, who had spent considerable sums to save his forlorn livestock, were extremely grateful.

"I'm very impressed with the effort made," Vik district sheep farmer Oddbjørn Ese told broadcaster NRK.

The sheep had been caught up amongst the crags for weeks and would likely have succumbed to the elements or eventually weakened and fallen had not an expert glacier rescue team been hired in. One sheep was however badly injured in the rescue and had to be shot.

The sheep had maintained an altitude of about 1,000 metres while up on the rock face, and alpine experts had told people not to attempt a rescue alone.

Two climbers in the specialist team had to bolt themselves to the mountain while they bound the animals' feet and threw them into the net that eventually hoisted them out of danger.

Three other sheep caught on a ledge not far from the Vik sheep were not so lucky. They were shot when helicopter rescue was deemed impossible due to the sheer mountain face.

More than one farmer is understood to have paid a combined bill of "tens of thousands of kroner" to get the animals down.

"One has to do what one can so the animals don't suffer," Ese said.

While a playground to more sheep than people, Norway's mountain terrain also attracts large numbers of base jumpers, hang gliders and para-gliders. Most years, someone has to be rescued by helicopter.

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FARMING

Norwegian firm warns high gas prices could impact food production

Soaring prices for natural gas, a key feedstock for producing chemical fertilisers, will weigh on food production and security, a major Norwegian manufacturer warned Wednesday.

Rising gas prices could make food more expensive, Norwegian firm Yara has said. Pictured is the fruit isle on supermarket shelves.
Rising gas prices could make food more expensive, Norwegian firm Yara has said. Pictured is the fruit isle on supermarket shelves.Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Norway-based Yara said that a near fifteenfold rise in European natural gas prices had forced it to reduce its production of ammonia, a key fertiliser component.

“European nitrogen production is essential to global food security, and we are therefore concerned about the impact current European natural gas prices will have, especially for the world’s poorest regions,” chief executive Svein Tore Holsether said in a statement.

As prices for fertilisers rise in the wake of those for natural gas, farmers will be tempted and perhaps forced to cut back on their use. As a consequence, production of food crops could drop.

Holsether pledged Yara will do its utmost to supply farmers and support global food production.

However, he said, “the current situation clearly demonstrates the need for more resilient food supply chains” and called on both government and industry to work together to secure the global food supply.

Rising prices helped Yara’s results overall in the third quarter, with headline sales rising by 46 percent to nearly $4.5 billion.

Operating earnings also improved, but adverse currency effects and writing down the value of a phosphate mining project pushed the firm into a net loss of $143 million.

It earned a net profit of $340 million in the third quarter. Yara shares were up 1.5 percent in afternoon trading, while the main OBX  index was up 1.4 percent.

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