In 1999, one sheep in New Zealand had enough of the whole getting shorn thing, so he decided to run away from home. He was like a teen who didn’t want to get his haircut, except he took his disdain for scissors to a whole new level. This sheep hid away in caves for six whole years before he was found, and people were shocked when they saw him.
You see, Shrek was a Merino wether, which means he was a domesticated sheep who couldn’t shed his own wool.
So over those six years, Shrek kept amassing more, and more, and more, and still more wool on his body, until he looked like this! This much wool can be dangerous to a sheep, causing pain or trapping too much heat. Sheep with this much wool can also get stuck on their back, like a beetle or a turtle.
He immediately gained worldwide attention when he was found in 2004.
A professional shearer finally wrangled the haircut-phobic sheep on live television…
Shrek had enough wool to make suits for 20 large men. All in all, he had 60 pounds of wool on him…that’s six times more than the average shearing (which makes sense, given he was gone for six years).
Here he is with his owner and a cool new cape.
Here, he is very excited to meet former Chilean Agriculture Minister Jaime Campos.
He also met the then-New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark. Quite the honor.
All of his wool was auctioned off for charity, and for the rest of his life he made numerous other charity appearances.
In 2011, at the age of 16, Shrek passed away in his own home…not burdened by 60 pounds of wool in a cave somewhere.
This little guy was quite the rebel back in the day! Though he really had nothing to fear — shearing is 100% painless for sheep — his tenacity is still pretty impressive.
You’re sorely missed, Shrek!