Merino sheep are prized for their soft, luxurious wool that is especially prized for making men's suits and athletic wear (due to its moisture wicking properties). They're a fairly common sight throughout Australia and New Zealand, but it's a safe bet to assume that few people have ever seen one that looks like Chris, the merino sheep who was recently discovered after it had been hiding out in local caves for over 5 years in order to avoid a haircut!
For quite some time, people had been reporting sightings of a huge, unshorn sheep on the border of Canberra and New South Wales in Australia.
Somehow, he'd managed to get loose and avoid getting shorn for over five years until he was recently captured by the RSPCA, who promptly put out a call to local shepherds to help with the shearing.
— Tammy Ven Dange (@tvendange) September 2, 2015Advertisement
That call was answered by Australia's sheep-shearing champion (yep, that's a thing), Ian Elkins, who presumably welcomed the challenge.
This is definitely a task for a champion sheep-shearer.
Normally, it takes under 10 minutes to shear a sheep, but it took a team of five people over 40 minutes to finish this job.
There was so much wool, in fact, that they even went back in for a second round.
Somewhere under all that wool, there's a sheep.
I imagine Chris must be loving the feeling of the cool breeze after so many years.
The official weigh-in of all the wool came in at a little over 40 kilograms, which amounts to an astounding 89 pounds! That's a new world record.
The official number is in (minus 2kg for the bag)! pic.twitter.com/l69eQlW3NV— RSPCA ACT (@rspcaact) September 3, 2015
You could make over 30 adult-sized sweaters with that bag.
Here's Chris all cleaned up with some pink antiseptic to keep him clean and healthy.
According to the RSPCA, Chris will be kept for routine observation for a few days after which he will hopefully be adopted by a family that will shear him regularly. Despite not being shorn for nearly five years, he appears to be doing fine. If his growth had been allowed to continue, however, the weight would have seriously affected his mobility and he could have also suffered complications from overheating.