Shrek the sheep

This is the story of Shrek the sheep who became world famous in New Zealand.

Shrek was born on a South Island sheep station near Tarras in 1994.  He was just one of the flock roaming the rugged hills of Central Otago, minding his own business.  One day his curiosity got the best of him and he went roaming and disappeared.  His owner had no luck searching the farm and gave up looking for his merino sheep.

Six years later the adventurous mammal was found and rounded up.  He had been evading capture by hiding in caves and living off the land.  He was now a completely different looking animal, his owner barley recognised him.  During his time on the run, Shrek had accumulated six years of fleece.  He now look like a giant ball of fluff with a surfer dude hair cut that obscured his vision.


Word quickly spread about the sheep that evaded capture and everyone wanted to meet him.  Shrek became a celebrity at all the events he made an appearance at.  Before long the story of Shrek was know nationwide.  The woolly beast became so famous, he was taken to meet the Prime Minister at the time, Helen Clark.

Shrek meeting the prime minister

Shrek meeting the prime minister

On the 28th of April 2004, Shrek was shorn on live TV by a professional shearer and watched by thousands.  His wool was auctioned off to raise money for Cure kids, a charity for sick kids.  The event took 20 minutes and 27 kgs of wool covered the floor like snow, enough to make 20 mens suits.

Shrek and his wool

Shrek and his wool

Thirty months after his initial shearing an iceberg drifted close to New Zealands shoreline.  Shrek was due for another hair cut, so some crazy kiwi thought it would be cool, as a birthday treat to fly Sherk off shore and shear him on top of the iceberg.  This actually happened and Shrek was once again a household name.

Shorn on an iceberg

Shorn on an iceberg

As time carried on Shrek continued to make guest appearances around the country.  He was a legend, the sheep version of a rock and roll lifestyle.  Sadly sheep don’t live forever and as he got older so did his body and it was recommended by a veterinary surgeon that he be put down.  Shrek was euthanised on 6th Jun 2011 at the age of 17.

Shrek and his fans

Shrek and his fans

This wasn’t the end of Shrek though, after “lying in state” for a week so everybody could say their goodbyes, he was off to the taxidermy.  The end result was put in New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa.  Over his life time Shrek raised more than $100 000 for charity at pubic appearances and become a national icon.  Since then children’s books have been written about Shrek the sheep to raise money for Tarrus school.

Click to see Shrek shorn on an iceberg!

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Continent: Oceania
Capital: Wellington
Population: 4,252,300
Area: 268,680 km2
Currency: Dollar
Languages: English

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