A German farm is offering people who are feeling deprived of human contact due to coronavirus restrictions an unusual alternative: the opportunity to cuddle a sheep.
"We have marvellous sheep here who like it very much if they get visitors," said Lexa Voss, who runs an educational program on a farm near Hattingen in western Germany to encourage people to get closer to animals.
"I allow people to visit the sheep unattended, and have a wonderful time with them in nature and far away from any masks and social distancing."
Visitors have to book an appointment but can get as close as they like to the shaggy sheep. The sessions are free of charge although visitors are asked for donations for the farm.
Therese Pfeffer enjoyed her encounter with the animals.
"At the moment we avoid being close to each other. We are always at a distance," she said. "To be honest, I always walk by sheep pastures and they run away. And here it is very different. It's great."