The shaggy animal, who has been dubbed Ewenice, was spotted on a property near Redcastle in July, with about four years worth of wool growth

By Nicholas Rice
September 10, 2020 01:44 PM
Advertisement
Ewenice, RSPCA Victoria rescues stray sheep with 20kg fleece
Credit: RSPCA Victoria

A sheep has been relieved of its 44 pounds of fleece after she was found abandoned in Australia.

The shaggy animal, who has been dubbed Ewenice, was spotted on a property near Redcastle in July, with about four years worth of wool growth, according to The Guardian.

Per the outlet, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was called after an individual saw the lone animal. The RSPCA rescued the sheep and took her in for a shearing, When the job was done, Ewenice was nearly four dozen pounds lighter.

The animal has since been moved to a new home in Geelong after being checked by a veterinarian.

Unlike other sheep breeds, Ewenice, who is a merino ewe, does not shed her fleece and needs to be shorn at least annually, the outlet adds.

If these animals are left untrimmed, they can overheat and at times die from heat stress, as well as get feces and other items matted into their wool, which can attract flies and maggots.

"Carrying such a large fleece for an extended period of time would have had a dire impact on this ewe’s welfare and quality of life," RSPCA Victoria’s head animal welfare inspector, Terry Ness, said on Wednesday, per The Guardian. "It was fantastic to see her transformation after shearing and to send her on to her new home."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Elsewhere, during a radio chat, Dr. Emma Roberts, who also works with the RSPCA, called into Afternoons with Deborah Knight, and told the host that they don't typically receive many sheep overgrown like Ewenice, and warned pet owners that they need to be aware of their pet's health, especially as the country nears its warmer months.

"You always have to make sure you have enough water when you're going out and about and leaving your animals outside as it gets hotter as well," she said.

"But I think most importantly, something that we sort of forget to remember is exercising in the heat of the day with your animal can really cause them stress. So making sure that you be mindful [and] go sort of earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooling down."