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Giant Feral Pig Photograph

Summary:
Photograph shows a very large feral pig that has been captured and killed somewhere in Australia (Full commentary below.)



Status:
Real Photograph - Descriptions may be inaccurate.

Example:(Submitted August 2006)
Subject: FW: Don't worry about the crocs ...

Believe it - or Not

Pig that was caught 300km south of Katherine NT.
They only caught it because it was eating their dogs!

Giant Pig

View full size image



Commentary:
This photograph of an extremely large feral pig is circulating via email and the Internet. The image shows the pig after it has been caught and killed by an unidentified hunter. Like similar photographs of unusually large catches, people from different areas are apparently declaring regional "ownership" of the monster pig. The email example shown here claims that the pig was captured south of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Other examples claim the capture occurred near Wee Waa in New South Wales or "somewhere in Queensland".

According to an article in the January 2007 issue of Sporting Shooter, however, the boar was shot on a cattle station in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The article notes that the giant was first spotted during a helicopter muster on the station. During a subsequent windmill run, the station owner came across the pig and shot it. The last of the available film in the camera was used to capture the one and only photograph of the beast. The scales used to weigh the animal had a maximum capacity of 200 kg (440 lb). However, the station owner estimated that the pig weighed around 220kg (485 lb) dressed. Sporting Shooter estimates the live weight of the boar would have been more than 300kg (660 lb). Although the region where this giant was shot is quite arid, wild pigs in the area are known to grow unusually large.

There are also reports from other regions of wild pigs reaching gigantic proportions. An article about wild boar on Wikipedia claims that adult males have been known to reach 1.8 m (6 feet) in length and weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb). In New Zealand, wild pigs are regularly caught that weigh over 200 kg. (440 lb)

As a species, pigs can certainly grow to enormous sizes, although the real whoppers are generally raised domestically. According to the Alberta Pork Congress website, the largest pig ever was an animal named "Big Bill" who was 1.52 m (5 feet) high and 2.74 m (9 feet) long. However, other unsubstantiated reports note that a 900 kg (1984 lb) pig in China may have been a serious contender for heavyweight pig champion of the world.

In Australia, feral pigs are a serious environmental and agricultural pest. Wild pigs destroy the natural habitats of native species, destroy crops and spread noxious weeds. Current wild pig populations originated from domestic pigs that escaped from 19th century European settlements. It is estimated that there are between 13 and 23 million feral pigs spread across large areas of the Australian continent.

The photograph may remind movie fans of the 1984 horror flick, Razorback in which a giant wild pig terrorizes an Australian outback community. In 2004, another wild pig dubbed "Hogzilla" gained posthumous celebrity status when its photograph began circulating online. The original stories about Hogzilla may have been exaggerated. Nonetheless, subsequent examination of the pig's carcass by a National Geographic team revealed that Hogzilla was around 2.28 meters (7.5 feet) in length and weighed around 362 kilos (800 lb).

Australia's version of "Hogzilla" was reportedly turned into sausages although the skull and tusks were kept for posterity.

Reference:
Sporting Shooter, January 2007, p.12, Yaffa Publishing, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010, Australia.

Last updated: 18th December, 2006
First published: 5th September, 2006

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen