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More ‘Hermit’ Sheep Found in New Zealand

March 30, 2006

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ Two years ago, a renegade sheep that managed to avoid being sheared for six years captured the world’s imagination with his unbelievably woolly fleece _ now another two have emerged from hiding on New Zealand’s southern island, a report said Wednesday.

The two hermit rams _ said to be about 8 years old _ were found hiding on the same hillside as Shrek and with wool lengths to rival the now world-famous sheep, the Otago Daily Times newspaper said.

Farmer Michael Hayman told the paper that the pair _ named Tweedledum and Tweedledee _ had lived on a river island, and may have been lured out of seclusion by the recent arrival of 600 ewes.

He said he found Tweedledum and Tweedledee two weeks ago after rumors of ``phantom sheep″ living in the area.

Locals in the nearby town of Tarras said the merino rams are at least as woolly as Shrek before he was shorn. Shrek’s fleece was said to have weighed about 60 pounds (27 kilos) when it was clipped in 2004 and sold at an exorbitant price at a charity auction.

The two new sheep aren’t expected to enjoy the same celebrity status as Shrek _ named after the ogre in the animated film _ as Hayman said he plans to shear them soon.

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