An impressive beast

A longtime reader sent this one to me, and, since I seem to have a special weakness for strange animal stories (e.g., the police nemesis turkey, Philadelphia fried chicken restaurant deer, and the unforgettable mystery mammal), I’m going to share what I’ve learned about the pride of Alapaha, Georgia: Hogzilla.

From AOL:

A team of National Geographic experts has confirmed south Georgia’s monster hog, known to locals as Hogzilla, was indeed real – and really, really big.

They also noted the super swine didn’t quite live up to the 1,000-pound, 12-foot hype generated when Hogzilla was caught on a farm last summer and photographed hanging from a backhoe.

Donning biohazard suits to exhume the behemoth’s smelly remains, the experts estimated Hogzilla was probably only 7 1/2 to 8 feet long, and weighed about 800 pounds. The confirmation came in a documentary aired Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel; it will be rebroadcast Wednesday and Saturday.

“He was an impressive beast. He was definitely a freak of nature,” said documentary producer Nancy Donnelly. She said Hogzilla’s tusks – one measuring nearly 18 inches and the other nearly 16 inches – set a new Safari Club International North American free-range record.

That wasn’t good enough for Ken Holyoak, owner of the 1,500-acre fish farm and hunting preserve where Hogzilla was shot by guide Chris Griffin.

“I need to stress that they did not have that much to work with, seeing as how the poor beast had been underground for nearly six months,” he said Monday.

Holyoak said Hogzilla weighed in at half a ton on his farm scales, and that he personally measured the hog’s length at 12 feet while the freshly killed beast was dangling by straps from a backhoe.

“As with any organic being after death, tissues will decompose and the body will atrophy, making actual measurements change over time,” Holyoak said. “Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?”

AOL News – Documentary Confirms Hogzilla’s Existence

“Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?” This is absolutely the quotable quote of the day, although “the poor beast had been underground for nearly six months” is a close second.

Come to think of it, who could ask for a better epitaph than “He was an impressive beast”?

I hope that, if I really do get serious about writing fiction after finishing Roll the Bones, I can write stuff half as inventive as this.

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