Four days before an 11-year-old hunter at an Alabama private game reserve shot it multiple times with a .50 caliber handgun, the now-famous swine dubbed ‘Monster Pig’ lived quietly on a Southern farm and was known by another name—Fred.
The facts behind the origin of the alleged 1,050-pound hog that has been the rage of TV morning shows and Internet blogs in recent weeks were revealed yesterday by Alabama Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials, who were investigating the circumstances behind the now-infamous hunt.
The huge hog gained worldwide attention after it was killed by 11-year-old Jamison Stone, who hunted with his father, Mike Stone, and two guides inside a 150-acre fenced area at the Lost Creek Plantation. Reports today say the big boar was fired upon 16 times by Stone, who struck the animal nearly a half-dozen times during the three-hour hunt.
Alabama authorities this week launched an investigation to determine where the hog came from and whether the hunt took place in compliance with the state’s fair chase regulations.
Bran Strickland, sports reporter for the Anniston (Ala.) Star, writes today that state game authorities determined that Rhonda and Phil Blissitt sold the enormous hog to the hunting operation on April 29, only four days before the “hunt” took place.
Mrs. Blissitt told the Anniston reporter that “Fred” was a gift from her husband and that the gentle swine used to play with her grandchildren.
“I didn’t want to stir up anything,” Mrs. Blissitt said. “I just wanted the truth to be told. That wasn’t a wild pig.”
Allan Andress, enforcement chief for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, said because the hog was determined not to be feral, its sale and transportation do not violate the state’s feral swine trapping and relocating regulations.
The determination also eliminates any possibility of the animal being considered as a potential record wild hog.
“If it went down in the record book, it would be deceiving, and we’d know that for the rest of our lives,” said Phil Blissitt.
Stay tuned. I’ve got a feeling this tale is far from finished.