Shrek did not really like being hair cut. So for six years, this New Zealand libertarian managed to avoid spring shearings by hiding in a cave.
When he was found in 2004, his owners could not even recognize that he was a sheep.
When he was found, there was enough wool to make 20 men’s suits (about 60 pounds).
As a result, many asked if the fleece of sheep would grow forever without being mown. Dave Thomas, head of sheep studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said the merino sheep would grow an incredible amount of wool forever without being shorn. Almost all year, this type of sheep continues to nest on the fleece.
Is it always dangerous to have so much fleece? Dave Thomas admits that all these wools pose a risk to the safety and health of sheep. Especially when they are very hot, heat stress can become a real problem. If the sheep’s wool gets too big, they can sit on their backs and can not get up.
Shrek is not the only sheep to hate the shearing process, although it is a quick and painless test that makes him more comfortable with age. Baby sheep tend to despise shearing more often and to excite enthusiasm as they go through the process for the first time. Once they learn that it is not painful and that it does not hurt their lives, they tend to be docile about it. In an experienced person, shearing takes only 5 to 10 minutes maximum.
Shrek died of illness at the age of 17 in 2011 and the whole country cried. “He was an elderly statesman,” said his owner John Perriam at the Daily Mail at the time. “He taught us a lot.”
Considering that most sheep live only six years before being sent to the slaughterhouse, it is a marvel that Shrek has lived so long.
And although Shrek is no longer with us, the story of the determined and seductive sheep of his lair will remain forever in our hearts.