Escaping the Clippers Forever

New Zealand’s celebrity merino Shrek — who evaded muster on Bendigo Station for six years and carried 27kg of fleece — has been put down at the age of 16. Shrek gained international fame in 24 after he was found in an Otago cave. During his cave-living days, Shrek grew his fleece which weighed roughly six times the average coach for a merino wether, a castrated male sheep. A New Zealand television audience roughly the same size as the one in that watched the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana tuned in for the live shearing of Shrek. His wool hit the charity auction market, fetching high prices. Bendigo Station’s John Perriam, Shrek’s owner and minder said Shrek’s story had become stronger since he was put down. “That’s the bit that has blown us away, is how this has gone around the world in his passing, because its seven years ago that he hit the headlines,” Perriam said. “It’s so deeply embedded the story now; it’s something that will stay with New Zealanders for generations.” Perriam credited newspaper photographer Stephen Jaquiery for taking the photograph that sparked the initial interest and since then Shrek had been “like riding a runaway racehorse”. He admitted it would be a bit strange not looking after Shrek every day. “It seems to be a good story. We haven’t had a lot of them lately.”

Shrek: 1994 – 6 June 2011


Tags: Bendigo Station  John Perriam  Merino Wool  Sheep  Shrek  Time Magazine