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Rescuers Help Desperate Sheep Shed 88 lbs Of Extra Wool.

Alex sheep before and after sheering

Every year, farmers shear the heavy wool from their sheep to keep the animal cool and comfortable during the summer months.

This practice is centuries old, and it not only enables humans to make use of sheep’s warm natural fibers, it also keeps the flock healthy by reducing parasites and disease. Sheep who do not get shorn can become “rigged,” or stuck on their backs, unable to defend themselves from predation.

Last year, a non-profit farm rescue organization in Australia called Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary rescued a sheep named Baarack from a fate worse than death. The poor thing was found wandering alone in the forest carrying a whopping 77 extra pounds of matted, dirty wool. Using lots of breed knowledge and TLC, they were able to rehabilitate Baarack so he could retire at the sanctuary surrounded by his new flock.

Now, they’ve got a new challenge on their hands! A local bushwalker was out in the forest when they saw a sheep that put Baarack to shame. The male sheep was so ensconced in his own wool that he could no longer forage for food or water. He couldn’t even walk, so he had lain down to die when he was discovered by the walker.

Edgar’s Mission was called to the scene. They immediately loaded the sheep, who they called Alex, into their van so they could work on him at the farm. Sanctuary workers admit they felt a sense of deja vu as they traveled to the top of Mt. Alexander to retrieve Alex.

“Sadly though in Alex we found a being who was in an even worse state of health than dear Baarack, If that was at all possible,” they wrote on Instagram. “For slim pickings were the grazing opportunities in the area he had been found. So weak was he that he could not stand. Not even when assisted to do so, and struggle we did to find a passage in through his ‘felt like’ fleece to administer life enhancing fluids.”

Rescuers weren’t sure if Alex would be strong enough to survive the shearing, but when they looked into his eyes they could see a spark of life.

“Sitting in the back of the van with our new friend with those crucial fluids now pumping new life into his withered form, it was if a switch was suddenly turned and Alex’s head rose as he looked about,” they said. “His gaze finding ours, and in that dim light we felt his fear for the unknowing of just where he had found himself.”

Using extreme care and a gentle touch, they were able to remove a staggering 88 pounds of sodden wool from the animal.

“Once back at sanctuary the arduous task to removing that fleece, sodden with rain, urine, twigs, bark, beetles, and maggots, began,” they said. “A fleece so mattered and dense that it stubbornly refused to cede to the shears. But somehow it miraculously did. All 40 kgs of it!”

So far, Alex is adjusting to life without his massive pelt. He sometimes wears a jacket to keep him warm, and he’s fitting in nicely with his pasture mates. With any luck, he’ll recover fully and never have to suffer in the wild again!

Watch the video below to see Alex getting sheared, and be sure to share to support this and other animal rescue organizations who work so tirelessly to help animals around the world.

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