I just couldn’t resist covering this, sorry (though, technically speaking, it’s old hat). On June 17th 2004, the reign of Hogzilla – an immense pig estimated to be nearly half a ton in weight and 3.7 m in length – was brought to an end. The animal ‘rampaged’ across southern Georgia until it was shot in a hunting preserve and, amusingly (for fans of Family Guy, the best thing on TV), the hunter’s name is Chris Griffin. Now comes news that the story of Hogzilla will hit the big screen sometime in the near future…
After exhuming the carcass in October 2004, a team of researchers working for National Geographic revealed that Hogzilla wasn’t as big as had been claimed: its actual size was more like 363 kg and 2.4 m; still big enough to be scary however. You can read about the dig here (image below shows forensic scientists exhuming Hogzilla’s carcass). In life, Hogzilla was only seen by two people – Griffin and Ken Holyoak, the landowner where it was shot – so there was initially a lot of scepticism about the validity of their claims about the animal’s size, in fact many people thought that the story was an internet hoax. DNA tests apparently show that Hogzilla was a hybrid between a wild boar and a domestic pig. I haven’t yet read which breed was involved in his ancestry, though some sources say ‘Hampshire breed’. Do they mean Hampshire hog*? That’s a real breed: it’s a black pig with a white belt and, despite its name (implying a connection with Hampshire in southern England), originated in northern England or southern Scotland. They were exported to the USA in the 1820s and are one of the most-kept breeds there today.
* I should point out that people from Hampshire are sometimes referred to by this name. Few of them know that they have the same name as a genuine breed of pig.
Anyway, apparently the independent film company Lithium Productions is currently working on making a movie dubbed The Legend of Hogzilla. I can’t wait.