In 2021, a creature was found wandering around the Australian wilderness. It was hard to tell what type of animal it was at first since its fur was practically enveloping its body. It wasn't a yeti strolling through the wild, but a sheep that was in dire need of a makeover.
In fact, he needed someone to save his life. But when workers at Edgar's Mission farm animal sanctuary sheared off the sheep's matted coat, they couldn't believe what stood before them.
A Creature Was Seen Wandering The Australian Wild
When it comes to haircuts, it's typically not a life-or-death situation. But the complete opposite can be said about a creature roaming around the Australian wild. At first, no one really knew what the animal was, because its hair was so thick and matted.
All that could really be seen were four tiny hooves poking out of its belly. But there was one thing everyone could agree on; the animal needed help.
Thankfully, The Creature Was Caught
The creature was spotted roaming around one of Victoria's public parks in Australia. But, from the looks of its fur, the animal had been wandering around long before 2021. Honestly, it looked more like a really dirty cotton ball than anything in the wild.
Thankfully, people were able to catch it and bring it into a rescue shelter. Well, once they figured out what they were actually dealing with, that is.
It Was A Sheep!
As it turns out, the yeti-looking creature wasn't another one of Australia's crazy animals. Amazingly, considering the country's history with wacky, dangerous, and overall crazy-looking species.
At the end of the day, this particular animal was nothing more than a common farm animal—a sheep. It was a very poorly cared-for sheep that might actually be a hybrid of breeds with difficult wool that needed to be taken off as soon as possible.
Edgar's Mission Came To The Rescue
The poor thing could hardly see, with its matted wool almost covering its eyes. The only parts of its body that were visible were small portions of its legs and a bit of its face.
Thankfully, Edgar's Mission was able to safely capture the sheep. They hoped to take him in, shave him somehow, and find a safe place for him to live. But getting through all of that wool wasn't going to be an easy task.
Edgar's Mission Rescues And Gives Sanctuary To Farm Animals
Edgar's Mission is a farm animal sanctuary located in Lancefield, VIC, Australia. According to their website, "We [the mission] rescue and provide sanctuary to animals in need, currently providing lifelong love and care to over 450 rescued animals. Through education, outreach, advocacy, community enrichment, and farm tours, we encourage people to expand their circle of compassion to include all animals."
It looked like Edgar's was going to be the sheep's new home for some time.
They Named The Sheep Baarack
Once the workers of Edgar's Mission got then sheep back to the sanctuary, they named him. And when it's a sheep that needs naming, what's better than a good old-fashion pun?
They wound up naming the sheep Baarack. Now, it was a matter of getting down and dirty, as it was evident that Baarack had been on his own, wandering around in the wilderness, for a very long time. His wool was a mess.
Baarack Wasn't Doing Too Well
It was sad for the workers of Edgar's Mission, as Baarack was on the brink of death. His wool was so heavy, not to mention tangled with who knows what. It's amazing the poor thing had been able to find nourishment in its state.
Thankfully, Baarack was able to lie down as best he could to eat the grass on the forest floor and sip water from puddles he found every so often.
Due To Cross-Breeding, Sheep Don't Shed Anymore
The question is why Baarack needed to be saved in the first place. Well, it all has to do with the selective breeding humans do with the sheep. And shearing has made it so sheep cannot shed their wool annually, something their ancestor, the mouflon, was able to do.
If Baarack were able to shed his fleece, he wouldn't have found himself in this situation, with a matted chunk of wool, in the first place! Alas, they all rely on humans for this.
He Was Having Trouble Standing
It was going to take a whole lot of time to get through Baarack's wool. It was so thick, matted, and heavy that the workers at Edgar's Mission really didn't know what to expect. Were they going to find other animals living in this nest-like fleece?
Regardless, they knew they had to shear the poor sheep before he got any worse. Because by the time they brought him to the sanctuary, Baarack was having trouble standing.
Twigs, Dirt, And Insects Were In His Wool
During an interview with BBC News, the founder of Edgar's Mission, Pam Ahern, spoke of Baarack's matted coat, saying, "He was just this big mushroom of wool, and he couldn't stand."
"The wool was just so heavy it was even pulling down his eyelids...Dirt and grit and grass had been encased there for I don’t know how long.” They had to work fast since Baarack's chances of survival were growing very slim. They even found insects in there!
Shearing Him Might Cause A Heart Attack
Baarack needed to be sheared as soon as possible. But the workers at Edgar's Mission had to be careful. He was in a very distressed state. The amount of wool on Baarack's body came with a whole slew of issues.
During an interview with BBC News, Ahern explained what they had to monitor while shearing Baarack. She said, "When we were taking the wool off, we were monitoring his heart rate throughout. Just in case he [had] a stroke or a heart attack."
Once Upon A Time, Baarack Had An Ear Tag
Aside from the absurd amount of wool that had to be removed from Baarack's body, the Edgar's Mission staff noticed something else. It seems as though their wild sheep wasn't wild after all.
While looking him over, a worker noticed something. Once upon a time, Baarack had an ear tag. It had since been ripped from his ear, most likely due to the conditions he'd found himself living while wandering the park.
His Life Before Edgar's Mission Will Forever Be A Mystery
Kyle Behrend, one of the workers at the sanctuary, spoke to The Guardian about the ear tag, saying that it seemed "to have been torn out by the thick, matted fleece around his face."
If Baarack had been owned by a local, or non-local, farmer, how in the world did he find himself in this horrible state? What happened between then and 2021 for his wool to be so matted and heavy? It might forever remain a mystery.
His Wool Weighed A Whopping 77 Pounds
On average, it typically takes a person a few minutes to shear a sheep of its wool. Baarack was no ordinary sheep, though. Not only was it a multi-person job, but it took the workers of Edgar's Mission hours to rid Baarack of his matted fleece.
When everything was said and done, Baarack's wool weighed a whopping 77 pounds! That's a lot of extra weight to be carrying around the Australian wilderness.
His Wool Was Unusable
Unfortunately, Baarack's wool was so matted and full of twigs and dirt that there was no use for it. In any other given circumstance, that amount of wool would have produced around 61 sweaters and 490 pairs of socks.
Sadly, a local club even approached Edgar's Mission, asking about Baarack's wool and if they would be able to use it for clothing. The founder of the mission had to give them the sad news -- it was unusable.
Baarack Was Quite The Resilient Sheep
During the interview with BBC News, the founder of Edgar's Mission, Pam Ahern, discussed shearing Baarack. She said, "Some of the wool around [Baarack's] neck was all matted; it was actually like felt around there."
"We had so much trouble getting it off. So I don't think it’s only going to be really good for anything except displaying the resilience of one incredible sheep." Resilience is right! Baarack waited patiently while the workers sheared him for hours.
He Was Very Malnourished
However, the saddest part for the workers was what they saw after all of the horribly matted and dirty wool was removed. Baarack not only looked like a totally different animal, but it was obvious to the rescue workers that he was extremely malnourished.
During her interview with BBC News, Ahem said, "He would have been struggling to get food in the forest anyway. But he had so much wool around [his eyes] he was having difficulty seeing as well. So that was compounding his problem.”
Baarack Is Doing Much Better
The good news is that Edgar's Mission found Baarack just in time. They were able to rid him of his wool and plump him up. He was going to have a nice life in the sanctuary with the other animals.
During a progress interview with BBC News, Ahem said that Baarack was "doing really, really well now." And how could he not be, with 77 pounds off his body and a steady supply of food and water supply on hand!
Edgar's Mission Was A Literal Lifesaver
Since he found his way into the Mission, Baarack's diet has expanded, according to Ahem. During her interview with BBC News, she said, "No longer shall he struggle for food and shelter, no longer will he be at the mercy of predators or the elements, and no longer will he be forgotten."
"He's even taken to eating the chaff and grains, which would be so foreign for a sheep." Baarack seems to be settling in nicely!
Baarack Had The Will To Live Again
Edgar's Mission wrote of Baarack's long journey on their Facebook page, asking people to find inspiration from his ordeal. The post said, "In seeing animals such as he, having the courage and will to live again, beating the odds, we are reminded that every being who treads upon this Earth wants, needs, deserves, and responds to kindness..."
"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn't we?"