Australian Sheep Relieved of 77 Lbs. of Overgrown Fleece: 'He Was in a Bit of a Bad Way'
The shaggy animal has since been named Baarack by rescuers
An overgrown sheep was relieved of an excess 77 lbs. of fleece after he was found roaming across Australia.
The shaggy animal, since named Baarack by rescuers, was found near Lancefield in Victoria, according to The Guardian.
"It would appear Baarack was once an owned sheep," Mission member Kyle Behrend said, per the outlet. "He had at one time been ear-tagged, however these appear to have been torn out by the thick matted fleece around his face."
"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," he added of the sheep, who has now found a home with other rescued sheep at Edgar's Mission.
Last year, another sheep — who was dubbed Ewenice — was also discovered in Australia in a similar predicament. The animal was spotted on a property near Redcastle in July, with about four years worth of wool growth, according to a prior report from 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 lbs. lighter.
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 added.
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, potentially attracting 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 at the time, per The Guardian. "It was fantastic to see her transformation after shearing and to send her on to her new home."