An errant sheep whose fleece was so overgrown it left his his life in danger, has been rescued by animal charity RSPCA ACT (Australia) and given a record-breaking haircut.
Named “Chris the Sheep” by RSPCA, the incredibly wooly animal was spotted by a walker in the Mulligans Flats area near the NSW-ACT border.
National shearing champion Ian Elkins was brought in to give Chris a much-needed haircut, unwittingly earning the creature a Guinness World Records title for Most wool sheared from a sheep - single shearing.
After 45 minutes of shaving, Chris was 41.10 kg (90 lb 9.76 oz) of wool lighter – an incredible amount when considering the average fleece weighs just 5 kg and takes only a few minutes to remove.
Chief Executive Officer RSPCA ACT, Tammy Ven Dange said: “We certainly didn’t have the world record as priority when we sheared Chris, but we appreciate the recognition.  We can only hope that record is never broken again because it would be unlikely that the animal would live to tell the story.”
When Chris was found he could barely stand due to the weight of his wool, leaving him in danger of getting an infection. He is now much stronger and living happily at a hobby farm in New South Wales where he will continue to receive veterinary care.
Chris’ fleece has been donated to the National Museum for preservation.
Previously, the shaggiest sheep was Big Ben (New Zealand), from whom a comparatively light 28.9 kg (63 lb 11 oz) of wool was removed in January 2014.
Above: Members of the RSPCA ACT team holding "Chris the Sheep" toys and copies of Guinness World Records 2016.
Earlier this year, the RSCPA ACT and 764 pooches set a record for the Most dogs wearing bandanas, raising AU$31,000.