New Zealanders are in mourning the loss of Shrek, a marino sheep who became a beloved national hero after it was discovered in 2004 that he had evaded the shearing sheds for six years.
John Perriam, Shrek’s owner, says the 16-year-old sheep was euthanized Monday because of several age-related illnesses.
Shrek broke away from the herd on Perriam’s South Island farm in 1998 and disappeared. When he was found six years later, he was sporting a massive fleece that weighed about 27 kilograms. Shrek captured the attention, and eventual affection, of New Zealanders when he was shorn of his fleece during a live national television event.
He went on to become the subject of three books and toured the country raising money on behalf on charities benefiting children.
A memorial will be held for Shrek later this week. Perriam says the animal will be cremated and his ashes spread over Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain.