Shrek the sheep just used to be normal and average Merino that belonged to the Bendigo Station, a wool station located in South Island, New Zealand. Shrek was just one of the 17,000 sheep owned by the station. However, some turn out of events made the station popular and there rose a celebrity Merino they named Shrek. Check out how this Merino sheep suddenly became so famous!
It is normal for Merino sheep to be sheared once a year
And the same goes for Shrek until 2004. It seemed that he hated his coat being shaved and made a way to avoid the shearing for as long as he can. He decided to run away and hide in a cave. What a smart and rebellious sheep, you say?
Shrek was successful with his plan
He was able to escape his enclosure and the annual shredding of his coat, thanks to his guts to stand up for what he wanted. For six years, he kept his owners thinking how he got away. Shrek spent all those years hiding in caves. Did he even get lonely out there? Maybe he had a couple of company during those years.
Eventually, the rebellious sheep was discovered
Shrek was eventually discovered by his owner, Mr. John Perriam. But he looked like a totally different sheep. Even his owner could not recognize that it was him the moment they found him. Why???
Shrek’s coat continued to grow throughout those years
Some breeds of sheep would naturally shred their own coat each year without any human intervention. But it is a totally different story with Merinos. Since they are typically raised for their meat, Merinos do not have the natural way of shedding their coat. That’s why for six years, Shrek’s coat just continued to grow and grow, far from every shearing tool there is.
Shrek produced around 60 pounds of coat
After six years of not having a haircut, Shrek grew his coat enough to produce 20 wool coats for large men. Shrek was able to maintain the normal Merino coat each year and therefore he was discovered with six times the normal amount of Merino coat. Look at how big he has become because of his coat. Kind of heavy since it weighed 60 pounds.
Now maybe you are thinking, “What if we never cut a Merino’s hair? Will it not stop growing?”
Fact is, yes, a Merino sheep will continue to grow his hair even without shearing it. This is according to an expert in sheep studies, Mr. Dave Thomas, from the University of Wisconsin. However, according to our expert, too much hair can pose negative health effects to the sheep. Sheep can suffer from heat stress and inability to move because of the weight of their thick coat. Hence, they need regular trimming or shearing.
Shrek’s shearing was broadcasted on the national television
This rebel sheep is so famous even his shearing was broadcasted on the national television channel in New Zealand for the entire nation to see it, after which, he looked like a completely reborn sheep. He looked definitely lighter and happier with his new haircut. Shrek’s second shearing was again broadcasted on national television in 2006.
Shrek is not only famous, he’s a VIP or specifically VIA (Very Important Animal)
Not every sheep would meet the prime minister of New Zealand that time, Ms. Helen Clark. Having that kind of prestige, it is safe to say that Shrek is indeed a very important animal.
All of the proceeds of Shrek’s coat were given to charity
This celebrity sheep’s coat was auctioned and proceeds were used to support children and their medical needs. Since then, Shrek had appeared in many children’s book and attended several appearances for charity with a lot of supervision of course. This rebel might think of running away once again.
Shrek passed away in 2011
This photo was the Shrek The Sheep display in Te Papa, New Zealand used for charity purposes. Unfortunately, the famous and rebellious sheep passed away in 2011 at the age of 17 because of an illness. It was a miracle that Shrek even lived that long since most sheep are sent to slaughter during their sixth year. His owner, Mr. Perriam mourned as well as the rest of the country.
RIP Shrek. You are definitely one of a kind. You will certainly be remembered.