Shrek leaves legacy

ALANA DIXON
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2011

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It was no mean feat making a name as New Zealand's most famous sheep – after all, there are about 40 million of them – but Shrek did it with ease.

The merino wether from Bendigo Station in Central Otago became an international hit when he was found in 2004 after evading capture for six years and carrying almost 30kg of fleece.

Shrek, who would have turned 17 this year, was euthanised yesterday morning.

Station owner John Perriam said last night Shrek had been suffering from circulation problems and had been watched over by a minder for the past three weeks.

Shrek would leave a lasting impression, Mr Perriam said.

"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."

Shrek also left his mark with the woman who found him.

Ann Scanlan, who had worked at the station for more than 20 years, said nabbing Shrek while mustering had been the start of an "unreal" seven-year journey.

"It was sad seeing him go ... but he's had a great life. I wrote him a wee card (yesterday) and I said, 'you've done the sheep industry proud'," she said.

Within days of Shrek being found in 2004 it was decided to donate all money he made to children's charity Cure Kids.

Cure Kids fundraising and business development manager director Josie Spillane said dozens of young Kiwis' lives had been changed because of Shrek.

It was impossible to put a price-tag on how much he had raised for medical research, because royalties from the three books written about him were ongoing.

It was important to not only remember him but to celebrate what he stood for, she said. "At the end of the day, it is the death of an iconic Kiwi. He just happens to be a sheep."

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