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Woolly Mammoth: Shearer Saves Hugely Overgrown Sheep
NPR ^ | SEPTEMBER 03, 2015 | Laura Wagner

Posted on 09/03/2015 8:30:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Among the kangaroos and kookaburras, another creature trundled through the Australian bush.

Hooves barely visible, eyes mostly covered, the animal was the size of a refrigerator, the color of dirty snow.

A concerned hiker spotted the furry specimen days ago and raised the alarm. It was a matter of life and death — and this sheep needed a haircut.

News reports say the merino sheep had likely wandered from his flock five or six years ago and had been on the lam(b) in the wild ever since. While merinos are typically sheared every spring, rescuers think the sheep, named Chris, probably had never been shorn. His wool had grown to about four to five times the normal amount of wool for a merino sheep, resulting in some serious health problems.

Besides being partially blinded by the wool flopping into his eyes, his hooves were damaged from carrying the weight of all that extra wool. He also had skin burns from urine trapped in his fleece. Plus, had Chris fallen down, his mass of wool would have made it difficult to get back up, rendering him easy prey for dingoes or other predators.

The Associated Press quotes the head of a group that helped rescue the sheep as saying it could have died within weeks if left in the wild.

Death was not his fate, however, thanks to a conscientious hiker who alerted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which swooped in to take over the woolly situation. Tammy Ven Dange, CEO of the Canberra RSPCA, immediately sent out a distress signal soliciting shearing help.

Luckily for the sheep, Australian sheep shearer Ian Elkins — a four-time national champion — answered the call.

After about 45 minutes and the administration of some sedatives (because the sheep was nervous around people after his time in the wild), Chris emerged, unrecognizable.

It must be one of the most dramatic makeovers ever. Elkins cut away 89 pounds, 3 ounces of wool, which if verified would shatter the previous world record of 63 pounds, 11 ounces shorn from a wild New Zealand merino in 2011. Chris' weight reportedly dropped by half.

"It's very exciting to be part of it," Elkins told The Guardian. "And it's quite pleasing that the welfare of this sheep was taken care of."

Wondering why the sheep was named Chris? According to the AP, the hiker chose the name after the sheep in the sitcom Father Ted.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat; Hobbies; Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: australia; bush; canberra; chris; ianelkins; outback; rspca; shearing; sheep; wool

1 posted on 09/03/2015 8:30:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

2 posted on 09/03/2015 8:31:53 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

bfl


3 posted on 09/03/2015 8:38:15 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Democrats and GOP-e: a difference of degree, not philosophy)
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To: nickcarraway

4 posted on 09/03/2015 8:44:32 PM PDT by Daffynition (*We are not descended from fearful men*)
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To: nickcarraway; Byron_the_Aussie; Fred Nerks; SkyDancer; DieHard the Hunter; al baby; Albion Wilde; ..

Sheep ahoy!

DANG!


5 posted on 09/03/2015 9:05:38 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Democrats and GOP-e: a difference of degree, not philosophy)
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To: nickcarraway

Down by the bar the old shearer stands,
Grasping his glass in his thin bony hands,
Fixed is his gaze on a green painted keg,
Glory he’ll get down on it, before he stirs a leg.


6 posted on 09/03/2015 9:43:09 PM PDT by stormer
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To: nickcarraway

“Living on the lam(b)”

Haha. Clever.


7 posted on 09/03/2015 10:09:25 PM PDT by SWAMP-C1PHER (G.A.L.T., Government Absent Laissez-faire Technique)
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To: nickcarraway

Hm, I went to high school with a Chris Marino.


8 posted on 09/03/2015 11:04:07 PM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (All freedom must be transported in bottles of 3 oz or less. - Freeper relictele)
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To: nickcarraway

What did sheep do before man started cutting their hair?


9 posted on 09/03/2015 11:22:10 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (With Trump & Cruz, America can't lose!)
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To: nickcarraway

That is an incredible amount of wool. How did these animals ever survive in the wild? Or maybe that kind of wool growth is the result of selective breeding and never was found in the wild.


10 posted on 09/03/2015 11:26:25 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick
How did these animals ever survive in the wild?

They become Q-tips for giants?

11 posted on 09/03/2015 11:32:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Cowboy Bob

Okay, here’s the answer:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-sheep-cant-stop-growing-their-fur-2015-9

Wild sheep shed their wool once a year, but Merinos do not shed. Instead their wool grows continuously, a trait that was brought about through cross breeding. So they are totally dependent on being periodically shorn by human beings.


12 posted on 09/03/2015 11:48:55 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: nickcarraway

That or big fluffy loofahs


13 posted on 09/03/2015 11:51:15 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

They are the results of selective breeding. Original, wild sheep didn’t grow so much and they shed them much more easily


14 posted on 09/04/2015 3:19:47 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: nickcarraway

Wow, good thing he never got caught in the rain........


15 posted on 09/04/2015 3:29:42 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (<i>)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Here in America the IRS takes cares of these sorts of things dont they?


16 posted on 09/04/2015 8:17:18 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey ("Never, Never, Never, Give Up," Winston Churchill ><>)
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To: Daffynition

Say, isn’t that a taxpayer on April 15th?


17 posted on 09/04/2015 8:21:05 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68
Ewe nailed it! Perfect metaphor!

We need to vote out this regime! We're on the cliff.


18 posted on 09/04/2015 11:26:34 AM PDT by Daffynition (*We are not descended from fearful men*)
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To: Daffynition

Hey thanks Dn, great photo shop, I’m saving that.


19 posted on 09/04/2015 4:37:57 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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