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An overgrown Australian sheep affectionately named Chris has set a new unofficial world record following a hair cut from five shearers.

Welfare crews warned it risked death because it was so woolly from living in the wild for several years.

More than 40kg (88lb) of wool was removed in what the RSPCA says is the heaviest wool haul from one shearing.

Chris the Sheep dwarfing kangaroos
Chris the Sheep dwarfing kangaroos

National shearing champion Ian Elkins was urgently called in on Wednesday to tackle the mammoth merino.

Chris the Sheep being shorn
Chris the Sheep being shorn

Mr Elkins described Thursday's marathon sheering session as one of his biggest challenges, saying he had never seen anything like it in 35 years of work.

Wool from Chris the Sheep
Wool from Chris the Sheep

In 2004, Shrek the New Zealand sheep was found after six years on the loose.

The animal - also a merino - later lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing broadcast live around the world.

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