Monster Aussie fleece set to topple Kiwi Shrek record
A MONSTER fleece shorn from an Australian sheep looks set to claim New Zealand sheep Shrek's decade-old 27kg world record.
Samson, the Monaro ram, had been roaming remote hills in southern New South Wales for years before his owner finally caught up with him.
His wool was "extremely matted" according to the farmer, who wants to remains anonymous.
He decided to take Samson to the shearing shed after concerns for its welfare, reports FarmOnline.
"The reason we wanted to catch him in the first place was we were concerned about fly-strike," he told the farming news website.
"With summer approaching, and with him carrying all that wool, we always had the animal's interest at heart."
A top Tasmanian shearer was flown in for the job.
Samson was sedated and the shearer had no problem taking the wool off in a "big solid lump, like an armadillo's shell".
"He didn't miss a beat, and was remarkably calm throughout the whole process," the owner told FarmOnline.
"The shearer did a bloody awesome job, and quickly too. There was barely a nick and not a bootlace on him, which is amazing when you think how matted Samson's wool was."
A local minister was present for the event to witness the weighing of the fleece and ensure it meet the standards of the Australian Record Book.
Video footage of the process and digital scales information has been sent off for verification.
Earlier this year, a Mackenzie District merino wether dubbed Big Ben claimed to have snatched the legendary Shrek's world record.
Big Ben was captured on a high country station near Twizel after years escaping musters.
It was shorn in January in accordance with Guinness World Records criteria where it was claimed to have been relieved of his 28.9kg fleece by New Zealand blade shearing champion and former world champion Tony Dobbs, who said his 25-minute effort was "certainly not the fastest I have shorn a sheep".
Shrek's 27kg fleece had been unofficially regarded as the heaviest in the world.
Big Ben's record is still awaiting recognition by Guinness World Records - and would mean that the Monaro's Australian challenge would be kept in check.