Yesterday, I told you about the unsheared merino sheep in Australia, well here is the follow up – and how they sheared it! Again, copied from the BBC News website.
If you’re not familiar with how the merino sheep normally looks, or what its wool looks like when prepared for spinning – it is the most popular fibre for hand spinners – have a look at my post on Merino Wool
Overgrown Australian sheep Chris ‘breaks world record’
An overgrown Australian sheep affectionately named Chris has set a new unofficial world record following a hair cut from five shearers.
Welfare crews warned it risked death because it was so woolly from living in the wild for several years.
More than 40kg (88lb) of wool was removed in what the RSPCA says is the heaviest wool haul from one shearing.
National shearing champion Ian Elkins was urgently called in on Wednesday to tackle the mammoth merino.
Image copyright RSPCA Image caption Chris the sheep was spotted outside of Canberra on Australia’s second day of Spring
Image copyright RSPCA Image caption Kangaroos outside Canberra are dwarfed by the woolliest sheep in the world
Mr Elkins described Thursday’s marathon sheering session as one of his biggest challenges, saying he had never seen anything like it in 35 years of work.
Image copyright RSPCA Image caption Chris’s hooves appear damaged after coping with the excess wool weight
Chris the sheep had to be sedated during the very delicate operation.
Image copyright RSCPA Image caption The difference a day makes: Removing the excess wool cut Chris’s weight in half
Mr Elkins said he was proud Australia had claimed the title from New Zealand, likening it to “the rivalry on the rugby field”.
Image copyright RSCPA Image caption Spring clean: Chris’s world-record breaking wool is weighed
The massive bundle of fleece tipped the scales at more than 42kg (92lb), but was revised down to 40kg (88lb) to counter the weight of the bag.
Image copyright RSPCA Image caption New do: Australian sheep Chris shows off a lighter look, complete with pink antiseptic stains
Animal welfare officials said Chris was “four-to-five times its normal size” before going under the knife.
Image copyright RSPCA Image caption Lightening the load: More than 40kg of wool was cut from Chris’s tiny frame
Found this on the BBC website this morning after seeing a piece about it on the news! Oddly enough I’d also saved the piece about Shrek yesterday, another sheep in New Zealand that hid for years and was discovered and finally sheared about 10 years ago – link to that article below!
Australia urgent plea to shear overgrown sheep
Image copyright AFP Image caption The merino sheep is “four-to-five times its normal size”, animal welfare officials say
Australia’s national shearing champion has been urgently called in to help after a heavily overgrown sheep was found near the capital Canberra.
Ian Elkins responded after animal welfare officials warned the life of the merino sheep could be in danger because it was so woolly.
Sheep can develop serious health issues if they are not regularly shorn.
The animal – believed to be male – was “four-to-five times its normal size,” welfare official Tammy Ven Dange said.
“It’s definitely one of the biggest sheep we’ve ever seen,” Ms Ven Dange, head of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
She added that the animal was “pretty stressed out” around human beings after what was probably years of solitude.
Image copyright AFP Image caption The animal is believed to have spent a number of years on the loose
RSPCA officials had initially wanted to shear the animal themselves, but later decided to wait for an expert.
Mr Elkins, a four-time Australian Shearing Championship winner, said removing the fleece “could be one of my biggest challenges yet”.
In 2004, Shrek the New Zealand sheep was found after six years on the loose.
The animal – also a merino – later lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing broadcast live around the world.
The country’s most famous sheep died in June 2011.
See also my earlier post on Merino Sheep.