Famously reclusive world record holder of the longest fleece in history
Shrek is a male merino sheep (also called a "wether" for people in the know) which evaded capture by his human owners for six years, dwelling in the hostile environment of the southern alps in Central Otago, New Zealand. During that time it must have survived on a diet of indigenous plants and bushes, as he was never seen venturing onto the green pastures of Bendigo Station, the farm that Shrek belongs to.
He was spotted on the 14. of April 2004 by one of the farm's shepherds, who believed she saw some strange wilderbeast. Only after coming closer, she was able to spot a sheep's snout under the huge mountain of wool that he was carrying around with him. Not been shorn for over 6 years, his wool reached the impressive length of 380 mm and the fleece has a total weight of 27 kg.
Due to New Zealand's chronic drought for any interesting national news, Shrek became an instant media hit: countless reporters and TV-Crews made it to the remote station, netting owner John Perriam a nice little bit of cash. Such was the amazement of a long haired sheep, that the Pacific, US and European media started to pick up the story and Shrek became a global icon.
Good for him (the sheep, that is) that he's totally worthless otherwise: he is too old to be eaten and his fleece can't be used (although beautiful) for woolspinning, as modern machines can only use wool to a length of 85mm. With other words, shrek will go into retirement, but not before his fleece will be taken off on New Zealand's prime human interest show: Holmes. His fleece will be donated to charity.
Only in New Zealand could a sheep become famous.
Demeter reminds us of the late Dolly. Another famous sheep, but for different reasons