A baby sheep that was born without fleece has been made a customized fake coat using a fleece jumper made from the wool of other lambs on the farm to keep him warm. The little bald lamb was born on the English farm Chilton Foliat in Wiltshire. The young lamb sadly was quickly abandoned by his mother after being born, possibly because of his lack of fleece.
The little lamb has been named Skippy, after the Australian TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and looks nothing like a regular lamb but more like a kangaroo, resulting in his name. Skippy was rescued by the owners of the Chilton Foliat farm and given a fake coat to keep warm after he was found bald, cold, and alone.
— BBC South Today (@BBCSouthToday) April 26, 2016
Skippy the lamb with the fake coat is now being raised by the farm owner who found him, Sally-Ann Fisher, and has become the talk of the town according to ABC News.
“He looks like a kangaroo,” Ms Fisher said.
“We’ve made a little jacket for him to wear out of an old [fleece] jumper to keep him warm at night.”
Ms. Fisher thinks Skippy looks like a “freak of nature,” according to the BBC, but made the little lamb a fake coat and has taken him in nonetheless after he was “completely abandoned” by his mother. “He’s just unlucky, but he’s doing great,” Ms. Fisher said. Skippy is now being hand-reared by Ms. Fisher and her partner.
Experts in the sheep industry have said that Skippy’s condition is extremely rare. Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association, said some sheep have less fleece than others but he has never seen a lamb need a fake coat before for being totally bald. “I’ve never heard or seen anything like this before,” he said.
— wilkie (@wilkieii) April 27, 2016
Hannah Park, from the National Sheep Association, said Skippy’s condition was “not common” and that he was lucky Ms. Fisher saw that the little lamb needed help when she did.
“Some breeds with less wool might be susceptible but it is extremely unusual and not something we would see,” Park said about the lamb with no wool.
According to The Dodo, none of them knows why Skippy is completely bald, but they do know that he would not have survived without the help, and fleece, of his fellow lambs. Skippy’s cute coat is made out of an old jumper that was fashioned from fleece from other sheep on the farm.
Ms. Fisher said she was “not aware” that Skippy’s lack of wool was a condition or a “health problem” and just thought he was unlucky when she found him 10 days ago.
— The Dodo (@dodo) April 27, 2016
Ms. Fisher added that thankfully, Skippy was born in April and not in winter. Skippy should be able to warm up with the spring sunshine over the coming months and not be too affected by his health condition. Despite the lamb needing a fake coat and having a difficult start to life, he is now thriving and has become a sensation on Facebook after the BBC Wiltshire shared the story with images of the lamb in a fake coat on Facebook yesterday.
Emma Taviner wrote, “Real life Shaun the sheep!!”
Another Skippy fan wrote, “Omg this is literally warmed my soul.”
The internet seems to love sheep dressed up in jumpers as another sheep named Gage drew headlines in 2014 when he was found wandering the streets of a U.S. city in an ill-fitting jumper. The festive sheep became an online star after being spotted spreading festive cheer in a red-and-green sweater in Omaha, Nebraska. Gage was later reunited with his owner thanks to the story going viral.