Chris (sheep)

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Before and after photographs of shearing

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 the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 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 have 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.