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When tourists were awed by Merino sheep in Australia

A group of Chinese tourists posed with and petted horned Merino rams that were on display from the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).

Chinese tourists look at Merino sheep on display from the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) in the Central business district of Sydney
Pics/AFP

It was in the in the Central business district of Sydney, Australia.

The AWI is a non-profit company that invests in research, development and marketing to increase the long-term profitability of Australian woolgrowers.

Chinese tourists look at Merino sheep on display from the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) in the Central business district of Sydney

About Merino sheep
Originally from Spain, the modern Merino sheep were domesticated in Australia. They are prized for their wool.

Poll Merinos are either hornless or have small stubs, known as scurs, and horned Merino rams have long, spiral horns which grow close to the head. They are excellent foragers and very adaptable.

Chinese tourists look at Merino sheep on display from the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) in the Central business district of Sydney

Merino need to be shorn at least once a year because their wool does not stop growing and can cause heat stress, mobility issues, and blindness if the coat is allowed to grow.

The wool obtained from Merino sheep is common in high-end, performance athletic wear and gear and is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin and provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking, which results in helping the wearer stay comfortable whether it be in warm or cold conditions.

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