Monday, March 21, 2005

Hogzilla night at home

Spirits soared last night as the final minutes counted down to the airing of "Hogzilla", a National Geographic special about the legendary 12 foot, 1,000 lb wild boar killed by Chris Griffin, a worker on a hunting plantation near Alapaha, Georgia. It's sounds very... "unrefined" and "redneckish" perhaps, to get so excited about a giant hog from the swamp, but perhaps it was a bit of state pride that kept us watching as well. It isn’t very often that the prestigious National Geographic visits so close to home. Ma' allowed us to eat away from the table and in front of the television so that we could forever remember the full effect of this monumentous occasion.

There was much debate about the existence of such an animal, and whether or not it had been contrived as some sort of faulknerian myth. According to experts who exhumed and examined the carcass, the boar was actually closer to the length of 8 feet and was mixed with a domesticated hog. All of this is still impressive. However, not impressive enough to save the hog slayer from the embarrassment of being caught in a lie on national television:

"I wut'n really there when he, uh, measured it" claims Griffin
"Well me and Chris put the measure on him, we both saw it was 12 feet" says Holyoak, walking up late.

So the hog indeed lived, but the mystery did not stop there. It is no secret that a domesticated hog could be fed to reach monstrous measures. It is not practical, but it is very possible. What was extraordinary about "Hogzilla" was that this feral animal was purportedly roaming the woods, terrorizing nature, and what's more, if this untainted wild beast could reach such a size in the wild, then surely many more (perhaps his siblings), that have not yet been seen or shot at, could reach equal or surpassing sizes.

This was the point that was stressed, not surprisingly, by Ken Holyoak, the only witness and owner of the hunting plantation where the hog was killed and buried in the same day, leaving only a single picture to back up the claim. Because of Griffin and Holyaok’s "luck" in finding such a hog, there has been a recent influx on hog hunters to the plantation area. Serendipity? I think not.

Holyoak suggests a possible explanation:

A few years earlier, on the same plantation, Holyoak achieved local fame for his patented protein enforced fish food, which he attributes to his occasional 5lb brim. To those who are unaware, that is a very large brim. Holyoak suggests that, perhaps, he could imagine that the hog may have wandered into the protein pellets. Skeptics (me) see a less happenstance, more plausible underlying scheme.

For reference, here is our pool of facts:
Holyoak owns a hunting plantation where he wants to attract hunters (customers).
Hunters are attracted to trophy kills.
Holyoak has developed a protein feed that produces trophy fish.
Hogs are capable of achieving incredible size when domesticated and fed protein enriched feed.

From these facts, one might deduce that Holyoak raised a hog for size and then killed it, took a picture, and buried any evidence in order to attract high-money clients. One doesn't need Hardy Boy training to assume such things. Nevertheless, this giant animal, larger than your couch, with 9 inch circular tusks once walked the earth in southern Georgia, and his name was Hogzilla.


**All this buzz is inspiring me to kill myself a hog. All around the farm, they are making trails and rooting up crops. More than a costly nuisance, these potential killers have been spotted pretty regularly in a field near the house. If I get to shoot one, I'll post the picture.

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