Chris (sheep)

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Chris (sheep) before and after.jpg
Chris, before and after shearing.
SpeciesOvis aries (domestic sheep)

Chris is a Merino sheep who gained international fame in September 2015 after being sheared of a record amount of wool in Canberra, Australia. He was found near the New South Wales-Australian Capital Territory border, allegedly nearly unable to walk from the hefty amount of fleece he had grown over the years.[1]

Local shearer Ian Elkins volunteered to shear the massive sheep, after being contacted by RSPCA Australia. Chris had to be sedated throughout the operation; during which, after about 42 minutes, the shearer had removed up to 40.45 kilograms or 89 pounds of thick wool.[2] It was reported that leaving the wool unsheared would have put the sheep at great risk for infection and/or injury. This is currently a world record, beating previous records held by neglected sheep such as Shrek (27 kg) and "Big Ben". The record was noted by Guinness World Records.[3]

Chris is said to have acquired his name from the British sitcom Father Ted by the local Bonner resident, Sue Dowling, who spotted the sheep wandering in a paddock near the Bonner district in Canberra. Chris was put up for adoption by the RSPCA, who reported that the sheep needed to recover from his operation and adjust to a life without a "cumbersome blanket of wool" (although his hind legs may always suffer some imbalance from years of bearing the extra weight). Hundreds of people had offered to adopt Chris.[4] Chris was adopted in September 2015 and now lives at Little Oak Sanctuary in New South Wales.[5]


  1. ^ McCafferty, Georgia (4 September 2015). "Shearer saves lost sheep from woolly death, sets unofficial world record". CNN. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Wool world record: 40kg fleece shorn off overgrown sheep in Canberra, RSPCA says". ABC News.
  3. ^ ""Chris" the shaggiest sheep ever is rescued by RSPCA and given a world record haircut". 30 September 2015.
  4. ^ Fantin, Alise (6 September 2015). "Hundreds offer to adopt Chris the overgrown celebrity sheep in Canberra, RSPCA says". ABC News Australia. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Little Oak Sanctuary - Animal Sanctuary Canberra". Little Oak Sanctuary - Animal Sanctuary Canberra. Retrieved 14 December 2018.