A County Antrim farmer has revealed how a ewe trapped under a massive snow drift for three weeks has been left traumatised by the experience.

Elaine McGarel told the Irish Sun newspaper how the ewe, one of four sheep that survived the horrific weather, is struggling to cope with her new-found freedom.

McGarel told the paper how the black-faced Lanark ewe is refusing to leave the spot in a County Antrim hedge where she was buried under a thick blanket of snow since March.

The report says she is one of two surviving ewes found by the hedge at the McGarel family’s farm near Glenarm.

The report adds that two hardy rams also emerged alive Around 10 miles away on the other side of Slemish Mountain when the remnants of the March 22 blizzard finally thawed during weekend rain.

The rams’ feat of endurance, which included eating the wool off each other’s backs to survive, have prompted them both to be dubbed ‘Ram-bo’ says the report.

More than 20,000 dead animals have so far been collected across the North of Ireland as part of a disposal scheme to deal with the farming crisis caused by the snow drifts which reached up to seven metres high.

Elaine, who lives at the Glenarm farm with husband Damien and their five children, said the two ewes had reacted completely differently upon finally being released.

She told the Irish Sun “One of the ladies is still very wobbly on her feet, she’s feeling a bit sorry for herself.

“She won’t move from the ditch side and she thinks all she can eat is the bark from the trees, she’s still eating up the hedge.

“The dog tried to bring her in yesterday and she leaped over fences, hedges and everything to get away. Any sign of a human being and she just takes off - I think she’s a bit traumatised.”

Farmer races to dig out sheep buried beneath snow during heavy falls in MarchGoogle Images