Ga. - With
the local legend of Hogzilla - the half-ton wild hog with
nine-inch tusks - spreading worldwide through the
Internet, residents of this tiny south Georgia town have
decided to feature the prodigious porker in their annual
Holyoak, who runs a fish farm and hunting plantation about
3 miles northwest of town, said one of his hunting guides
shot the 12-foot-long hog in June, but few actually saw it
before it was buried on the property. Besides the few
witnesses, his only proof is a photo showing the guide
with the beast dangling from a strap.
said he's received thousands of telephone calls as the
story spread to newspapers around the world and became a
hot topic on Internet forums. A Tallahassee, Fla., poet
even posted a Hogzilla ode:
am analyzing that photo.
Carefully standing my guard.
if they really grow that big
don't want them in my back yard!"
have a few skeptics, but we've got six witnesses"
Holyoak said, adding that they've all signed affidavits to
support his claim.
grave, marked by a large white cross, sits beneath a shady
oak on Holyoak's plantation.
of Alapaha's annual festival have even gotten caught up in
the Hogzilla craze. They have decided the theme of this
year's festival will center around the legendary creature.
festival's previous themes have included God Bless
America, Saluting Our Firemen, and Our Indian Heritage.
the usual parade, arts and crafts displays and other
entertainment, the November celebration in the town of 680
people this year will feature a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla
informational booth, and Hogzilla T-shirts.
going hog wild," said Darrell Jernigan of Jernigan's
Farm Supply, a gathering place for local farmers that also
sells boots, hunting gear and building supplies.
travelers stopping by often to inquire about the hog,
Jernigan's sister, Darlene Turner, keeps the famous photo
everybody is having fun with it," she said.
"There's jokes. Some people believe it. Some
a visit to the store, Elizabeth Moore, a member of the
Glory United Methodist Church, said her church
traditionally provides food for the festival and is making
special plans this year.
going to be serving Hogzilla barbecue and Brunswick
stew," she said. "We'll have a hog-calling
contest and probably hog sausage."
of the organizing committee gathered at Becky's Beauty
Shop to discuss their plans, while customers sat in the
chairs for haircuts and perms and a few peered out from
it's true, we're glad," beautician Becky Davis said.
"Someone called from Atlanta and said, 'It doesn't
look like you're taking it very seriously.' I said, 'I'll
take it seriously when it gets to the city limits.'"
say feral hogs - domestic hogs that escape and learn to
live off the land - have been a nuisance to farmers for
years in the Alapaha area. They live in the swamps along
the Alapaha River, which runs through Holyoak's
said the hogs on his land may grow larger than normal
because they sneak out at night and feast on some of his
high-powered fish food. His son shot a 695-pound hog last
Mayberry, director of the Iowa Park Industry Center, said
domestic hogs can weigh 1,000 or more pounds and the
porkers that win the Big Boar Contest at the Iowa State
Fair generally weigh in at 1,300 pounds or more.
who spent 22 years as a University of Georgia pork
specialist, liked the idea of a Hogzilla festival.
go right along with the Big Pig Jig," he said,
referring to the annual barbecue cook off in Vienna, Ga.
Hogzilla was truly a feral hog, it would be the largest
he's ever heard of, Mayberry said.
Alapaha, residents smile when strangers ask them about
say it's like fishing," Moore said. "The more
you tell the story, the bigger the fish gets and the more
you tell the story about Hogzilla, the bigger the hog