There's so many sheep here, you could walk on them

Sheep heading to their semi-annual shearing blocked more than half a mile of road in rural New Zealand

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The Independent Online

New Zealand's sheep stocks are in decline, but you might think someone was trying to pull the wool over your eyes about that if you were faced with this - a traffic jam of sheep stretching back more than half a mile.

The sheep were travelling on a road in rural New Zealand,making their way from a nearby farm to their semi-annual shearing.

New Zealand is home to six times as many sheep as people (Rex Features)

A tour bus that came across them while driving from Catlins Forest to Dunedin was eventually told to drive through the seemingly endless stream of sheep rather than wait for them to pass.

Yair Tzur, 71, a passenger on the bus, said:"After waiting 10 minutes, the farm manager just told our driver to go through - he said 'they'll move on their own'."

Sheep in New Zealand head to their semi-annual shearing (Rex Features)

"It took the driver more than half an hour to make his way through the herd," Mr Tzur said, "But the experience was tremendous."

Sheep in New Zealand outnumber people by six-to-one. But their numbers have fallen since the 1980s, from a high of over 70 million to about 29 million today.