When Luna the sheep was found on a rural property in Tasmania’s south-east, her fleece was so overgrown she was blinded by wool and couldn’t move.
- Four-year-old ewe Luna was found in a condition near death
- Her fleece was so heavy that she could no longer stand
- Luna was taken to Brightside Animal Sanctuary by the property’s new owner
The four-year-old ewe was also heavily infested with lice and her wool was matted from constant scratching.
The new property owner, who had recently bought the land near Richmond, came across the distressing sight on Monday.
The man used his tractor to move Luna into his ute, then drove her the three-hour return trip south to Brightside Animal Sanctuary at Cygnet.
“She’d been wandering in the bush, blind and pretty hungry with this hugely heavy weight on her little frail body and she just collapsed, ” sanctuary founder Emma Haswell said.
Luna gets her first haircut
The shearer who clipped Luna believed the ewe had never been shorn before.
“As soon as that wool came off it was amazing. Within 20 minutes Luna was walking in a straight line,” Ms Haswell said.
“She’s bright and hanging out now with the bottle-fed lambs.”
Luna is still acclimatising to being shorn, and on extra-chilly days wears two jumpers, including a polar fleece designed for greyhounds who also live at the animal sanctuary.
Ms Haswell said she had been overwhelmed by the compassion shown by the farmer who had asked for updates on Luna and was now following her progress on Facebook.
“It’s the most amazing thing, to have someone care that much about a sheep, and what’s even more amazing is the incredible following Luna now has on Facebook. So many people have become lovers of Luna,” Ms Haswell said.
“Years ago if you put up a post about sheep no-one cared, but that has changed and farmed animals aren’t just thought of as food anymore.
“She’s this little angel of a sheep. She’s got this dainty merino face and these great big eyes.”
Luna just one in a flock that’s missing
Ms Haswell said another six stray sheep were believed to be on the property where Luna was found, and she believed the previous owner would try to retrieve them.
RSPCA Tasmania chief executive officer Jan Davis said cases where sheep went “rogue” weren’t very common.
“If they are in hill country they disappear and aren’t readily spottable,” said Ms Davis.
“It was lucky someone found her [Luna] because once sheep are down, they don’t generally get up again.”
“And to be out in the weather, a wet fleece of that weight would kill a sheep.”
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