Prickles the missing sheep returns home with 7 years of unshorn fleece

Prickles the sheep turned to their Tasmanian home with seven years of fleece growth. MyCause/Facebook

Prickles the Tasmanian sheep may just be the world’s first practitioner of physical distancing.

Following the 2013 brushfires in the village of Dunalley, Prickles went on an adventure that lasted seven years. While stories of her journey are unclear, one thing is for sure: it didn’t involve any shearing.

The sheep returned to her home in Tasmania with seven years’ worth of unshorn fleece.

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Compared to her sheep siblings in an April 13 photo shared by MyCause, an Australian fundraising and crowdfunding platform, she looks a bit unkempt, her fleece full of secrets.

“She is absolutely round,” farmer Alice Gray, Prickles’ owner, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “She’s a great big fluffy ball of wool.

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“She looks very healthy and she’s very happy now in with some other little friends.”

Using the story to the advantage of those struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, Prickles’ owners are fundraising for Australia for UNHCR by letting people guess how much the sheep’s overgrown fleece weighs.

Of their AU$5,000 goal, they’ve raised more than $6,000 so far using MyCause.

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Coronavirus around the world: April 22, 2020

“Prickles was one of the many sheep that ran for her life during the Dunalley bushfire disaster of 2013. She has managed to evade us ever since,” the fundraising page reads.

“It made us think of the millions of people around the world who don’t have the option of good sanitation and social distancing to protect them from the virus.

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“To help out, our family and Prickles would like you to join us in a fun competition to guess the weight of her fleece.”

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The page adds that her fleece will be coming off on May 1, and the winning guesser will receive a “certificate of excellence” — and the satisfaction of giving to a good cause.

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