ACT News

Chris the Sheep officially breaks world record for heaviest fleece

Chris the Sheep has finally claimed an official world record for his mammoth 41.1 kilogram fleece.

The Guinness Book of World Records announced the new record for the heaviest sheep fleece on Wednesday.

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Chris the sheep in the wild

Canberra's "Chris" the sheep set a world record. Watch him in the wild before he was rescued, and hear shearer Ian Elkins describe how it went.

Chris, the errant sheep found covered in about six years' worth of wool at Mulligans Flat earlier this month, has broken the previous record held by New Zealand sheep Big Ben whose 28.9 kilograms of wool was shorn off in January 2014.

National shearing champion Ian Elkins gave Chris a potentially life-saving haircut a day after the sheep was found and taken to Canberra's RSPCA.

RSPCA ACT chief executive officer Tammy Ven Dange​ said breaking the record wasn't a priority but the organisation appreciated the recognition.

"Everyone really wanted to pursue this record, I think just to beat the Kiwis," she said.

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"The priority has always been about looking after Chris and getting the wool off him as quickly as possible. Afterwards we realised, 'Oh, I guess a world record is at stake. Maybe we should consider the record'."

Ms Ven Dange said she hoped people didn't lose sight of the animal welfare issues behind the record.

"We can only hope that record is never broken again because it would be unlikely that the animal would live to tell the story," she said.

"Chris the Sheep wouldn't have made it through summer, that's for sure. That's the story most important to us."

The fleece weight is the RSPCA ACT's second world record this year.

The shelter broke the record for the most dogs wearing bandanas at the Million Paws Walk in Canberra in May. 

The latest record is one of two wins for Chris; the newly-shorn sheep moved to his new home last week, an unnamed hobby farm in New South Wales.

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