Carrying probably the biggest ever fleece ever found on a single sheep was just another challenge in a life of many for Big Ben, according to the farmer who found him.
After years of rumours and alleged sightings of the monster fleece, Twizel farmer Mike Lindsay managed to track down Big Ben on nearby Department of Conservation land.
"Him and three other sheep, they got separated from the flock and got themselves into a bit of retired country owned by DOC, and they were just living very happily there for many years until they were discovered, mustered and we got a great surprise to find sheep with such a huge amount of wool."
It wasn't until he sheared Big Ben and weighed the fleece he realised just what he might have on his hands.
"Each sheep took about half an hour. It was a huge job."
At 28.9kg, it's a couple of kilograms heavier than record holder Shrek's woolly coat.
"It could take up to a couple of months to get it verified from the Guinness people, but we feel certainly happy enough that we've got an unofficial record at this stage," says Mr Lindsay.
But he doesn't think Big Ben would have minded carrying around such a large coat too much.
"Merino are amazing animals, and they have to cope with a lot in their lives. Sometimes they might have weeks in the snow, so I guess carrying a fleece of wool of that weight is just another challenge."
Mr Lindsay hopes to sell the wool to raise funds for a new medical centre in Twizel.
source: newshub archive