Australia did it again! Meet Chris, the Aussie sheep with a shaggy ball of dirty-white wool.
RSPCA ( Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) reports, wool shorn off an overgrown sheep found near Canberra on Wednesday has set an “unofficial” world record for the heaviest fleece removed in one shearing.
Chris the sheep, as he has been dubbed, underwent a risky shearing operation to remove 40.45 kilograms of wool. It amazingly smashed the previous world record held by a sheep in New Zealand called Shrek, whose fleece weighed 27 kilograms.
Due to Sheep’s wooliness, Sheep can develop serious medical conditions if its wool is not regularly shorn. The RSPCA estimated that the sheep, which could barely walk due to the mass of wool, had not been shorn in more than five years.
WHOAH! It’s amazing it survived all these years out in the wild.
During the process of shearing, Sheep was sedated to prevent the animal to die from shock. It took four-time Australian Shearing Championship winner, Ian Elkins and four helpers 42 minutes to shear the sheep.
Mr Elkins admitted that it was a difficult job.
It was a challenge but the sheep was calm and the vets gave it a mild sedation before we started the shear. We started on the belly, just laid it on its back, kept it comfortable. There were parts of the sheep where we had to cut it in different layers because the problem for me shearing it was the weight of the fleece was pulling on the skin and we wanted to keep the skin cuts to a minimum.”
With 35 years in the sheep shearing business, Mr Elkin said he had never seen anything like it.
I’ve shorn a few sheep with two years’ worth of fleece unshorn, they would cut 10 or 12 kilos. Sheep are shorn every 12 months and an average weight would be 5 kilograms. For this to cut over 40 kilograms and smash the world record, Shrek the New Zealand sheep, he cut 27 kilograms, it’s unbelievable,” he said.
And Mr Elkins believes that the fleece will not be sold.
Because of the length of it, it’s 42 centimetres long. It will have no commercial value but it will be interesting to see what the RSPCA do with it, whether they put it in a museum or something like that,” he said.
RSPCA ACT Chief Tammy Ven Dange said she was pleased with how smoothly the shearing process went.
He’s a Merino sheep, and he needs to be sheared all the time, they’re bred for that specifically, so if you don’t do it this is what happens. It’s actually a life or death situation… This animal would not have made it through the summer had we not done that, we were just lucky to find him when we did.”
He’s actually moving really well, he’s already eating, he actually came up to us for a cuddle. If we can’t find the legal owner then we’ll put him up for adoption.”
via ABC News