“Not Australia’s answer to the yeti, but a sheep” named Baarack who hasn’t been shorn in years.
The rescued merino sheep had a densely matted coat that grew unchecked for years. Image credit: Edgar’s Mission
Months of social isolation caused by the pandemic stopped many of us from having regular haircuts for a long time. Even the most abundant at-home hair can’t compete with the fur coat of a miserable merino sheep in Australia, which was discovered wearing 78 lbs. (35 kg) of overgrown, matted wool, according to Live Science.
Domesticated sheep, which descended from the mouflon some 11,000 years ago, have long lost their capacity to shed their coats periodically, according to study published in the Eurasian Journal of Applied Biotechnology in 2018. Sheep were intentionally developed over millennia to generate wool for human consumption, eventually necessitating annual shearings to keep their coats in check.
But what if a domesticated sheep hasn’t been shorn in years? Look at this ram, dubbed Baarack, who was found roaming free in a state forest in Victoria, Australia. By the time he was captured and transported to Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary for rescued farm animals in Lancefield, Victoria, his fleece had grown into a dense, huge mass, according to a spokesman of the foundation.
Baarack was eventually freed from his enormous, woolly burden, which weighed roughly 78 lbs., or 35 kg, the weight of a 10-year-old child. On February 10, Edgar’s Mission posted on Facebook that “behind that mound of matted wool, soiled with mud, studded with twigs and an unbelievable number of insects, was not Australia’s equivalent to the yeti, but a sheep.”
According to The Guardian, that quantity would be enough to knit 61 sweaters or 490 pairs of men’s socks.
Baarack’s future appears a lot brighter now that he doesn’t have to stare through that curtain of matted wool. Indeed, if we have made these animals reliant on us, we should look after them.
And that is exactly what the rescue workers at Edgar’s Mission are doing after nursing this underweight sheep with an overweight fur coat back to health.