Shrek the famously shaggy sheep

Shrek, New Zealand's most famous sheep, captured the public's imagination in 2004 after he evaded the annual shearing roundups for seven years by hiding in caves on his farm on the South Island. He was euthanized Monday at age 17. (Fotopress/Ross Land/File/Associated Press)

Shrek became famous after escaping his enclosure and evading the shearers for six years by hiding in caves on New Zealand’s South Island. When he was caught in 2004, the Merino sheep had grown a mammoth 60-pound fleece, which he then lost in atelevised shearing.

It was the start of a high-profile career for Shrek.  The evasive sheep became a national icon in a country that is known for its large sheep population and is said to have more sheep than people. Shrek met then Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, was the subject of children’s books and made charity appearances.

Shrek the sheep's long-awaited shearing was broadcast live on television in New Zealand.

Shrek the sheep

Shrek (centre), a hermit merino sheep from New Zealand who was shorn on live worldwide television, has died.

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