Sheep Overgrown With 78 lbs. (35 kg) of Matted Wool Finally Gets a Haircut

“Not Australia’s answer to the yeti, but a sheep” called Baarack, who hasn’t been sheared for many a long years.

The rescued merino sheep had a densely matted coat that grew unchecked for years. Image credit: Edgar’s Mission

Months of social distancing due to the pandemic have kept many of us getting regular haircuts for a long time. But even the most abundant stay-at-home hair can’t compare with the fur coat of a poor merino sheep in Australia who was found wearing a whopping 78 lbs. (35 kilograms) of overgrown, matted wool, Live Science reports.

Descended from the mouflon around 11,000 years ago, domesticated sheep have long lost their ability to shed their coats seasonally, as researchers reported in 2018 in the Eurasian Journal of Applied Biotechnology. Over the millennia, sheep were selectively bred to produce wool for human use, eventually requiring annual shearings to keep their coats in check.

Wild sheep shed their coats naturally. Domesticated sheep — not so much, as these images testify. Image credit: Edgar’s Mission

But what happens if a domesticated sheep is not shorn in years? Well, look at this ram, nicknamed Baarack, that was roaming wild in a state forest in Victoria, Australia. The poor guy’s fleece had grown into a dense, gigantic mass, by the time he was captured and brought to Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary for rescued farm animals in Lancefield, Victoria, a representative of the nonprofit told Live Science.

At the sanctuary, Baarack was finally shorn of his heavy, woolly burden, which weighed about as much as 78 lbs., or 35 kg, the weight of a 10-year-old child. Under that mass of matted wool – stained with dirt, studded with twigs and an insane number of insects — “was not Australia’s answer to the yeti, but a sheep,” Edgar’s Mission wrote on Facebook on February 10.

A freshly shorn Baarack, finally freed of his wooly burden. Image credit: Edgar’s Mission

That amount would be enough to knit about 61 sweaters or 490 pairs of men’s socks, The Guardian reported.

Now that Baarack doesn’t have to peer through that curtain of matted wool, his future definitely looks a lot brighter. Indeed, if we have made these animals dependent on our care, we should be looking after them.

And that’s exactly what rescue workers at Edgar’s Mission, who nursed this underweight sheep with an overweight fur coat back to health, are doing.


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