Sunday, 1 December 2019

Chris the Sheep


Chris the sheep was an escaped Merino wether living in the bush near Canberra. He managed to dodge being shorn for several years and as a consequence, when he was captured his fleece weighed a record breaking 41 kilos and had strands 42 cm long. A regular fleece would weigh about 5 kilos and have strands about 6 cm long.

When he was rescued by an observant RSPCA officer who spotted him in a paddock he was barely able to move because of the weight of his wool. He was starving and heat stressed. Although he had stock markings, no one was able to match them to an owner and it remains a mystery how he got to be in the situation he was found. After being sedated for shearing he was adopted by a farm refuge and lived out the remainder of his days there.

 Record breaking fleece of Chris the sheep on display in the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Record breaking fleece of Chris the sheep on display in the National Museum of Australia. Canberra. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The fleece was acquired by the National Museum of Australia and put on display, which is where I saw and photographed it. The fleece was infested with parasites and had to be stored in a freezer to kill all the residents off before it could go on display.  Chris the sheep died of natural causes at the age of 9 just a few weeks ago.


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