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Georgia farmer skeptical whether Alabama hog was wild

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia farmer on whose property a huge wild hog was killed in 2004 is skeptical about reports that an even bigger wild hog was killed in Alabama.
    ‘‘I don’t think that hog they shot over there was a true wild hog,’’ Ken Holyoak said on Thursday. ‘‘If they don’t have a DNA test and don’t have a record of their tusks, they don’t have nothing.’’
    The media attention surrounding giant wild pigs grew in May after an 11-year-old Alabama boy said he killed a feral hog that weighed 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail.
    Holyoak said he measured and weighed the pig — nicknamed Hogzilla — that was killed on his farm near Alapaha at 1,000 pounds and 12 feet long. Experts from National Geographic exhumed the hog’s body and said it was 7 1/2-8 feet long and weighed 800 pounds.
    ‘‘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,’’ Holyoak said.
    Holyoak said Hogzilla weighed in at half a ton on his farm scales and that he personally measured the hog’s length 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?’’
    Holyoak said the key to finding out if the hog is wild or tame is the length of the tusk.
    Hogzilla’s tusks were measured at 17 10/16th inches after the carcass was exhumed and ‘‘three inches had already been broken off,’’ Holyoak said.
    He said the Safari Club did the measurement. ‘‘He didn’t even ask how long it was, how much it weighed,’’ Holyoak said. ‘‘He said show me the tusk. He said this is a world record.’’
    Hogzilla was brought down in 2004 by hunting guide Chris Griffin. An independent south Georgia film company is now making a movie based on the near-mythical beast.
    Holyoak said he could look at the picture of the hog killed in Alabama and tell it wasn’t grown in the wild.
    ‘‘That hog’s so fat he could hardly walk,’’ he said. ‘‘He couldn’t make it in the wild. I’m about 99 percent sure that hog was growed in a pen and they turned him out and shot him.’’

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