A rogue sheep in Australia who had escaped from his herd and owner was found with over 77 pounds of overgrown wool covering his body, which is nearly half the weight of an adult kangaroo, REUTERS adds. The wandering merino ram was spotted by an unnamed individual who then notified the Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary near Lancefield, Victoria, who promptly set out to locate and rescue the animal.
Kyle Behrend who works for Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary told REUTERS that:
“It would appear Baarack was once an owned sheep. He at one time been ear-tagged, however these appear to have been torn out by the thick matted fleece around his face. Sheep need to be shorn at least annually otherwise the fleece continues to grow and grow, as happened here.”
Baarack is not the first wandering sheep to have been found with a massive amount of fleece. In 2005, a sheep in New Zealand named Shrek had successfully evaded capture for six years, amassing 60 pounds of wool in the process. For comparison, the average Australian sheep grows just under 10 pounds of wool a year.
It has been said that about 70% of the wool is actually usable, and that 70% of 10 pounds of wool can produce 7.7 wool sweaters, or 61.6 pairs of wool socks.
The GUARDIAN performed an analysis on both Shrek and Baarack’s wool, along with a few other famous sheep, and created a fascinating graphic detailing just how incredible the amount of wool is that was removed from the animals:
Kyle Behrend had this to say about Baarack’s overall health and wellbeing before his sheering:
“Whilst his hooves were in great condition from running over the rocks in the forest, he was in a bit of a bad way. He was underweight, and due to all of the wool around his face he could barely see.”
There are many dangers an unshorn sheep can face, such as getting feces and other material stuck in their wool which can attract flies and maggots, or overheating due to the intense weight and insulation of the wool, which can result in death.
Behrend said that Baarack seems to be doing very well after his sheering, and is settling in nicely with the other animals on the farm, saying:
“It all goes to show what incredibly resilient and brave animals sheep really are and we could not love them any more if we tried.”