SYDNEY (Reuters) - Around 40 kilograms (88 lb) of wool has been sheared from a sheep found near Australia's capital, the RSPCA said on Thursday, making him unofficially the world's woolliest.
The animal, named Chris by his rescuers, was discovered on the northern outskirts of Canberra on Wednesday and was said to be struggling to walk under the weight of his coat.
Tammy Ven Dange, chief executive of RSPCA ACT, the Canberra division of the animal charity, estimated Chris had more than five years of wool on him and likely little contact with humans.
The 40.2 kilos of wool removed from Chris mean that he was unofficially the carrier of the world's heaviest fleece, possibly shattering the current record set by New Zealand sheep Big Ben, found to be carrying nearly 29 kilograms of wool in 2014.
Big Ben dethroned fellow Kiwi, Shrek, who gained national celebrity in his home nation, meeting then Prime Minister Helen Clark and becoming the subject of several children's books before his death in 2011.
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)