Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

Shear a Sheep in New Zealand

Schweebing and Zorbing aren't your thing? While many pumped-up tourists go to New Zealand to share in the nation's fixation on death-defying sporting events, some locals seek their adrenalin surge from another extreme sport: sheep shearing. The current world record for shearing lambs is held by a New Zealander who denuded an astounding 866 lambs in nine hours. That's a lot of sweaters. Sheep are a big part of rural life on the Shaky Isles, where the woolly creatures outnumber humans 9 to 1. You can try your hand at sheep shearing at various agricultural hubs throughout the country, where pros demonstrate the tricky task and a few let tourists have a go at it. Average sheep-shearing time? Two minutes. Helmets and harnesses not required — but you might need a shower after.

— By Krista Mahr