Viral

SYDNEY (Web Desk) – An overgrown Australian sheep affectionately named Chris has set a new unofficial world record following a hair cut from five shearers.


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Welfare crews warned it risked death because it was so woolly from living in the wild for several years.

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More than 40kg (88lb) of wool was removed in what the RSPCA says is the heaviest wool haul from one shearing.

National shearing champion Ian Elkins was urgently called in on Wednesday to tackle the mammoth merino, the BBC reported.

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Mr Elkins described Thursday’s marathon sheering session as one of his biggest challenges, saying he had never seen anything like it in 35 years of work.

Chris the sheep had to be sedated during the very delicate operation.

Mr Elkins said he was proud Australia had claimed the title from New Zealand, likening it to “the rivalry on the rugby field”.

The massive bundle of fleece tipped the scales at more than 42kg (92lb), but was revised down to 40kg (88lb) to counter the weight of the bag.

This handout photo released on September 3, 2015 from the RSPCA shows some 40.45 kilos of wool shorn off a giant woolly sheep in the outskirts of Canberra a day after Australian animal welfare officers put out an urgent appeal for shearers after finding the sheep with wool so overgrown its life was in danger.  The heavily overgrown sheep had its massive fleece removed on September 3 by an Australian national champion in a life-saving operation that animal welfare officers said may have also set a new world record for a single shearing. Some 40.45 kilos (89.18 pounds) of wool was taken off in one large piece from the animal by Australian Shearers' Hall of Famer Ian Elkins in a 42-minute process that he said was "certainly a challenge".     AFP PHOTO / RSPCA    ----EDITORS NOTE ----RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / RSPCA" NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - NO ARCHIVES

Animal welfare officials said Chris was “four-to-five times its normal size” before going under the knife.

In 2004, Shrek the New Zealand sheep was found after six years on the loose.

The animal – also a merino – later lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing broadcast live around the world.