Giant hogs-for real? (Pt. 2)

1hogAs noted in the highly detailed chapter on giant hogs in my book “Hog Wild” there were holes in the story of “Monster Pig” from the beginning.

The scale used to weigh the animal goes in 10-pound increments so a weight of 1,051-pounds would be impossible. The fatal blow to the story came a few days later when an Associated Press story revealed the hog was not only domestic but was named, “Fred”.

“Phil Blissitt said he purchased the 6-week-old pig in December 2004 as a Christmas gift for his wife, Rhonda, and they sold it to the owner of Lost Creek Plantation after deciding to get rid of all the pigs at their farm.”

“He told The Anniston Star in a story Friday that the sale was four days before the hog was killed in a 150-acre fenced area of the plantation.”

That “Monster Pig” was a purely domestic hog was not a surprise to me in any way. I suspected it, Hogzilla and most of the other giant hog photos circulating on the Internet hail from domestic stock. While truly pure wild hogs rarely grow larger than 500 pounds, the domestic ones can get huge if fed constantly and they are put out onto hunting ranches in Texas on occasion.

Tales of Hogzilla and other gigantic hogs are now urban legends here in Texas and beyond.

When you have a situation with giant hogs which look basically the same rather wild or domestic from the general public’s standpoint and create a sensation story to go with it, you have a situation where someone’s pet like “Fred” aka Monster Pig becomes a legend.

Despite the fact this hog was verified to be purely domestic there are still (years later) chain e-mails going around about it touting it as the world’s largest wild hog. Some of this has to do with how urban legends grow which are the source of the stories themselves. Since they typically come in the form of an e-mail from a friend or a conversational anecdote they seem believe. After all, your friend would not lie, would they? Maybe it is not that they are lying but the whole thing was a lie or at least an exaggeration from the beginning.

With that said, there is a chance there are some legitimate, wild monster-sized hogs roaming parts of the country due to what I call the “x-factor”. Put simply it means in nature virtually anything is possible and some hogs of Hogzilla size and larger could spring up from wild stocks.

For years scientists thought that reports of giant peccaries roaming the rainforests of Brazil were bogus but in 2007, researchers confirmed a separate subspecies that grows much larger than the collared and white lipped variety.

Science has been wrong time again about the size, range, life habits and even existence of certain wild creatures. All I have to say is if there is a legitimate, wild successor to Hogzilla in my future, I hope I see it before it sees me.

Chester Moore, Jr.

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