March 22, 2005Hogzilla lives! Well, he used to,
anyway, according to scientists in a National Geographic
Explorer documentary that confirmed the massive swine's
existence Sunday night.
Georgia hunting guide Chris Griffin (pictured with Hogzilla) shot the allegedly 12-foot (3.7-meter), 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) hog in June 2004. Ever since, the controversy has ballooned along with the legend. Some critics cried hoax. Others said Hogzilla was a homebody: Domestic pigs can grow to 1,000 pounds. Wild ones rarely exceed 500 pounds (228 kilograms).
Scientists working with the National Geographic Society dug up the swine in November 2004 to analyze his remains and test his DNA. Hogzilla, they announced on Sunday's documentary, was part wild boar and part domestic pig. The experts estimated that he would have weighed only about 800 pounds (363 kilograms) and measured about 8 feet (2.4 meters).
Hogzilla's tusksone nearly 18 inches (46 centimeters)set a North American Safari Club International record. But it's a dubious distinction. Such length, one scientist said, could only have been achieved in a pen. So the jury is still out on whether Hogzilla was wild at heart or a pig in a poke.
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