Aussie sheep sheds huge coat after years on the lam

MELBOURNE (AFP) – A wild sheep found wandering the wilderness of the Australian bush has been sheared of a huge 35-kilogramme coat after an estimated five years of unchecked growth.

Struggling under a filthy fleece caked with years of mud and tangled debris, Baarack was spotted in a Victorian state forest and taken to an animal rescue sanctuary north of Melbourne, the group said on Facebook earlier this month.

“I couldn’t believe there was actually a sheep alive under all of that wool,” founder of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary Pam Ahern told Nine News.

The sheep’s matted coat had been growing uncut for close to five years, Ahern estimated.

“I think he has been a cheeky little rascal of a young lamb who’s just wandered off and never came back.”

Unshorn sheep struggle to walk under the immense weight of their wool, and without a haircut at least once a year most will not last long in the wild, particularly in Australia’s often harsh and dry summers.

Despite Baarack’s hefty locks, he falls short of the world record held by a late compatriot, Chris, who made headlines when he was shorn of a 41-kilogramme mane in 2015.

Baarack’s transformation from hulking mass to fresh faced has nevertheless given him a new fleece of life, with his overhaul racking up millions of views on TikTok.

Photo from Edgar’s Mission 2021 shows ‘Baarack’, a wild sheep who was found wandering the wilderness of the Australian bush. PHOTO: AFP