Shrek the Sheep
16th of July, 2018
Shrek - the runaway Merino Sheep!
Whilst travelling on SH8 from Queenstown, heading North we happened to stop to buy petrol in a very small and cute Township called Tarras. Small but truly Kiwi, Mo and I decided to jump out of the car and have a little poke around. We were so happy to come across the SHREK Museum, and we are not talking about the green monster Shrek!
Geoff had told us the story about the stray Merino sheep who had wandered off for many years. The story goes that he did not enjoy sheep shearing time of year and he had managed to avoid any human contact for 6 whole years!
Some breeds of sheep naturally shed their wool each year, but Merino sheep, typically raised for meat, never shed their fleece. Hidden behind cave walls, far from any shearing blades, Shrek’s wool continued to grow, and grow, and grow some more.
He was discovered, much to his owner’s delight, amazement and amusement in 2004 with a gigantic woolly coat! The whole of New Zealand embraced the run-away sheep, and he was finally given a well-deserved haircut. Apparently, there was enough wool to make 20 men’s suits and fleece weighed in at 60 pounds!
2 years later, as a marketing ploy for little old New Zealand, Shrek was shaved on a floating iceberg off the coast of Dunedin!
Shrek did become a bit of a national icon, books were written about him and he was taken around Kiwi schools where kids raised money for charity.
It’s such a lovely a story and that’s why we were so excited and happy when we found this small little museum dedicated to Shrek and all the hard work people had done to promote this happy little bit of Kiwi folklore! Well worth stopping for if you find yourself at the cute little Township of Tarras!