Chris, the sheep that became known around the world, for the massive amount of fleece he carried, has died.
Little Oak Sanctuary, where he lived since he was discovered in a field in Canberra, Australia in 2015, made the sad announcement on Facebook.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, wise, friendly soul,” they wrote.
In August 2015, Sue Dowling was walking near Canberra when she spotted a sheep with a heavy fleece. The merino sheep, dubbed Chris, was unable to walk due to the weight of its fleece. Dowling contacted the RSPCA.
Chris the sheep was brought to a shelter where veterinarians recommended he have his fleece removed as soon as possible. The weight of the fleece caused numerous issues for Chris, including slight bowleggedness.
Once Chris was shaved, vets discovered that the sheep was suffering from numerous skin infections under its 90 pounds of fleece.
According to the National Museum of Australia, it’s estimated that Chris’ fleece had been growing for five years. And no one knows where the sheep came from. Numerous farmers attempted to claim him after he was recognized for “heaviest sheep fleece,” but no one could match his markings.
He was adopted in 2016 and went to live at Little Oak Sanctuary where he quickly became a favorite.
Staff discovered Chris, who was nearly 10 years old, on Tuesday after he didn’t show up to breakfast.
“He’s been really happy and healthy recently. His death came out of the blue. His system just gave way,” Little Oak Sanctuary vice president and co-founder Kate Luke told The Canberra Times.
“Chris is known as the world record holder for having grown the heaviest fleece on record. He was so much more than this, so very much more, and we will remember him for all that he was – someone, not something – here with us, not for us,” the sanctuary shared.
Rest in peace, Chris.
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