Most wool sheared from a sheep: Australian sheep breaks Guinness World Records record (VIDEO)
CANBERRA, Australia -- A lost, overgrown sheep found in Australian scrubland was shorn for perhaps the first time last week, yielding 40 kilograms (89 pounds) of wool — the equivalent of 30 sweaters — and shedding almost half his body weight, which sets the new world record for the most wool sheared from a sheep in a single shearing,
according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Chris, a feral Merino sheep, has had his fleece safely shorn. The estimated five years' worth of growth, at 40.45 kilograms, achieved a world record for the heaviest fleece ever shorn from a sheep.
The Guinness World Records' record for the most wool sheared from a sheep in a single shearing is 28.9 kg (63 lb 11 oz), from Big Ben, owned by Michael Lindsay (New Zealand), in Twizel, New Zealand on 25 January 2014.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest display of handmade sheep; it consisted of 8,998 PomPom sheep and was achieved by The Campaign for Wool (UK), at the ZSL London Zoo, London, UK, on 29 August 2013. Tammy Ven Dange, chief executive of the Canberra RSPCA, which rescued the merino ram dubbed Chris, said she hoped to register the 40.45 kilogram (89 pound, 3 ounce) fleece as a new world record.
Champion shearer Ian Elkins said the sheep appeared to be in good condition after being separated from his huge fleece under anesthetic.
"I don't reckon he's been shorn before and I reckon he'd be 5 or 6 years old," Elkins said.
Chris was found near Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary outside Canberra by bushwalkers who feared he would not survive the approaching southern summer. He was found several kilometers (miles) from the nearest sheep farm. A bushwalker named him Chris after the sheep in the "Father Ted" television comedy series.
She said Chris would be found a new home after vets gave him the all-clear. Elkins said the fleece was too long to be sold commercially. He hoped it would end up in a museum.
Australian merinos are bred for wool and are shorn annually, with fleeces averaging about 5 kilograms (11 pounds).