A FLOCK of 180 sheep which survived the capsizing of a cargo ship in November are to be rehomed in Romania.

Over 14,000 sheep were on their way from Romania to Saudi Arabia on the Queen Hind ship when it overturned. A rescue mission, led by animal welfare groups Four Paws and Arca, managed to save 180 of the sheep, all rams, which will now be adopted by animal sanctuaries.

But the rescuers are still in talks to gain full ownership of the animals and in the meantime they are living on a former horse farm north of Bucharest.

Director of farm animals at Four Paws, Martina Stephany, said she was overwhelmed by the response from animal sanctuaries after news of the rescue first came out.

"Most of the offers came in without us even doing anything, because people saw the news and got in touch – some just said, 'Hey, I have a farm with some space, if you want I can take some sheep'.

"We probably won't put them all in the same place because there are simply a lot of them – and you can imagine that, since they are all males, it would be good for them to be in smaller groups."

Four Paws is taking steps to ensure the surviving sheep don’t go on to slaughter or have to travel long distances. It has pointed to the overturned ship as an example of the dangers of the long distance animal transportation business, and highlighted that three million live animals are moved from European countries to other nations every year.