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article imageShrek the famous NZ sheep dies

By Lynn Curwin     Jun 8, 2011 in World
Shrek, the sheep who became famous when he was finally shorn after avoiding capture for six years, has died at the age of 16.
Shrek grew an impressive coat after hiding out on the South Island's caves when people appeared. After he was found in 2004- by musterer Ann Scanlan- it was decided to donate all money he made to Cure Kids, which funds research into childhood diseases.
The shearing was done on live television, with a 27 kilogram (60lb) fleece being removed.
Following that, Shrek became an ambassador for Cure Kids, and raised money by making public appearances across the country.
"He had an unbelievable personality," the BBC quoted John Perriam, Shrek's owner, as saying. "He loved children and he was really good with the elderly in retirement homes."
Josie Spillane, of Cure Kids, said the merino wether had raised more than $150,000 for the charity.
"Shrek has given Cure Kids a phenomenal fundraising opportunity and exposure and without the tenacity of the Perriams - John and Heather- this wouldn't have happened," the New Zealand Herald quoted her as saying.
Three books were written about the sheep, and royalties from those are still raising funds for charity.
John Perriam said that Shrek had been suffering health problems lately and they decided it would be best to euthanise him.
"His circulation was shutting down and he was starting to get into a lot of pain with his front feet," TVNZ quoted him as saying.
"We didn't want to put Shrek through anymore, but it's a day I certainly haven't been looking forward to because he's been a great old mate."
He told the Southland Times that he learned a lot through his experiences with Shrek.
"He taught me so much in giving and caring, because I'm an entrepreneur and some times you forget about all of that, but he put us into every retirement home, every children's hospital, every charity in the country, and he changed our lives."
He told the Otago Daily Times that the response to the sheep's death was remarkable, and shows how many lives he touched.
Shrek will be cremated, and Perriam plans to spread his ashes over the top of Mt Cook.
"He can look over the high country and the domain of his ancestors for 150 years," he told TVNZ.
A service will be held in his honour and a bronze statue may be erected.
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