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SnakebyteXX
03-19-2005, 06:12 AM
Television show to clarify whether huge beast shot in 2004 is for real

By JOHN KESSLER
Atlanta Journal-constitution
ATLANTA - Calling all swamp monster enthusiasts, legend debunkers and lurking Photoshop experts. Today's question: Is Hogzilla for real?

The truth behind Georgia's legendary half-ton of tusked, rampaging pork will be answered definitively Sunday on the National Geographic Channel's Explorer: Hogzilla.

(Spoiler alert: Stop reading if you don't want to know until you watch the show.)

In June 2004, Chris Griffin, a plantation hunting guide in the south central Georgia town of Alapaha, claims to have shot and killed a 12-foot-long, 1,000-pound wild hog.

After sending one bullet into the beast's heart, he posed triumphantly with its massive upended corpse in a photo that lit worldwide Internet fire.

Could the picture be genuine? While domesticated hogs can grow to a half-ton or more, wild boars have never been known to come close to this size.

As speculation raged about the size of Hogzilla's snout, potential signs of digital photo tampering and the possibility of a scary new breed of rhino-sized boar, Alapaha (population 682) became a destination for the Sasquatch set.

City Clerk Renee Copeland said: "We have a lot of people who come in and want (Hogzilla) T-shirts. I had a gentleman in here just yesterday."

The shirts have been sold out since Alapaha celebrated Hogzilla in its festival in November.

With the controversy showing no signs of slowing, there was only one thing to do. The National Geographic Society sent a team of pig scientists to Alapaha to exhume Hogzilla.

The animal measured 71/2 feet in length large, perhaps even record-setting large, but not hide-the-children-and-get-your-guns large.

DNA analysis of flesh obtained during the hazmat-suited pig pull showed it to be a hybrid of a wild boar and a domestic Hampshire pig.

This measurement differs from that taken by Ken Holyoak, who owns the plantation on which Hogzilla was killed and took a tape measure to the hog the day it died.

How to explain the discrepancy? "Well," he said, "after five months, something like that dries up."

http://img16.paintedover.com/uploads/16/hogzilla.jpg (http://paintedover.com/uploads/show.php?loc=16&f=hogzilla.jpg)

Chris Griffin poses with the giant hog known as Hogzilla, which he claims to have shot near Alapaha, Ga., in 2004.