An Australian sheep who made headlines in 2015 for the record-breaking weight of his fleece has died.

Chris, a merino believed to have been about ten years old, was found dead this morning by his minders, having died of old age, said Kate Luke, co-founder and vice president of the Canberra-based Little Oak Sanctuary, a charity that shelters more than 180 farm animals.

In 2015, Chris was discovered on the northern outskirts of Australian capital Canberra, struggling to walk under the weight of his wool, which had not be shorn in more than five years.

The 40.2kg of wool removed from Chris in 2015 made him the carrier of the world's heaviest known fleece, dethroning New Zealand sheep Big Ben, who was found carrying nearly 29kg of wool in 2014.