The British Wild Boar Association was set up in 1989 to promote the commercial development, welfare and understanding of husbanded wild boar in Britain.
Evidence that Macca may have been telling Porkies (sorry!): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/3175626.stmPaul McCartney denies any responsibility for a proliferation of rampaging boars that are killing lambs and damaging crops near his farm.
The Times of London yesterday quoted farmers as suggesting Mr. McCartney and his wife, Linda, were harboring the fierce, tusked wild hogs.
"They are putting out carrots and so on for these creatures. They won't have hunters on the land because they are against killing animals, so their farm has become a safe haven," sheep farmer Diana Morrison said.
Geoff Baker, a spokesman for the 54-year-old ex-Beatle, said that the claims are "total rubbish" and that the McCartneys have never seen any wild boar around their farm about 50 miles southeast of London.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1215332,00.htmlIf you go down to the woods today ...
They were hunted to extinction in Britain in the 17th century. Then, in the 1980s, we decided to farm them for tasty sausages. A few broken fences later and the boar was back in the British wild - and breeding. Time to panic? Leo Benedictus has a close encounter in Kent
Thursday May 13, 2004
Wild boar became extinct in Britain in the 17th century. One fanciful legend has it that the last one died on the lance of James I (1603-25), but since there were sightings up to 1683, that seems unlikely. The animal's ferocity and stamina made it a highly prized and respected quarry among huntsmen all over Europe; one animal nearly gored Henry VIII to death. Its acute hearing and sense of smell made it easy for the wild boar to avoid mankind, as did its nocturnal lifestyle and preference for dense woodland. But when the forests disappeared, the boar went too.
It was the great storms of 1989 that gave Britain back its boars. Farms had sprung up throughout the decade to cater for adventurous yuppie palates, supplying what seemed to be the ideal low-maintenance meat: simply enclose a patch of woodland with a good, strong fence, release your imported or zoo-surplus boar, and the animal's determined nature and unfussy tastes will do the rest. But when one such fence was crushed by fallen trees near Tenterden in Kent, an unknown number of boars escaped and set about establishing a colony. Further escapes have given Dorset and Herefordshire their own populations. Britain's boars were wild again.
Wild boar (sus scrofa) typically grow up to around 5ft 11in (1.8m) in length and weigh more than 30 stone (190kg), although in April a 47-stone male, nicknamed Houdini after its escape some months earlier from a Gloucestershire boar farm, was killed while crossing a road in the Forest of Dean. (The first sightings in the early 1990s were reported as "escaped circus bears".) Like all animals, the wild boar prefers to stay out of trouble, but if it feels threatened - or worse, that its sows or its piglets are being threatened - it will fight to the death. And wild boar, who are battling for dominance within a week of birth, can get quite paranoid about these things.
They are unpredictable, too, and as fast as greyhounds. "Most domestic animals give you an indication that they're getting upset," says Harman, who admits to having fled up a tree last November. "But boar don't. Just all of a sudden - bang - they're coming at you."
Both males and females have two pairs of tusks each, on the upper and lower jaws, which grow up to six inches in length on the males. Cleverly, the upper set is grooved in such a way as to sharpen the lower set with every gnash. A wild boar's tusks are therefore rather like kitchen knives, except that their only use is for fighting.
Their preferred fighting method is disembowelment by a sharp, upward ripping movement. It is thought that adults may present a threat to young lambs, which can promise a tasty meal (although they are 90% vegetarian, boars are omnivores and certainly will not say no to fresh meat). Altogether, wild boar are probably the most dangerous wild animals in Britain.
Technically, it is not actually possible to poach boar, as British law does not yet recognise that they exist in the wild. The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 says that farmers must prevent them from escaping, and must report it if they do. Unsurprisingly, however, few farmers choose to incriminate themselves in this way when they find a hole in the fence - particularly as there is no obligation to tag boar, which means they cannot be traced. (There are thought to be around 40 boar farms in the UK - no definitive figure exists.)
I turn my head, and the first thing I see is a dark brown wild boar barely 30ft away, walking right past us. Now there's another one, an albino, bigger than the first. I am looking straight at it, and it is looking straight at me.
Requires (free) registration:Town eats up tale of 'Hogzilla'
Photograph only proof of man's beastly claim
By BILL TORPY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/30/04
ALAPAHA — A generation ago, a shadowy creature supposedly was sighted limping across a highway here, causing newspapers to ruminate about a homegrown Bigfoot. Local residents embraced the mythical beast, and before you knew it, high school kids made T-shirts adorned with a peg-legged Bigfoot.
It's happening again. Ken Holyoak, owner of a fish hatchery and a hunting plantation, claims a 1,000-pound wild hog with 9-inch tusks was killed on his land. The 12-foot-long beast has been nicknamed "Hogzilla" and is now part of a growing local lore.
"It's caused a stir," said Darlene Turner, manager of Jernigan's, a hardware-gas station-general store about three miles from Holyoak's place. "People are calling from all over. They saw it on the Internet or heard about it on the radio. They say, 'Tell me about Hogzilla.' "
Holyoak, a man unafraid of publicity, is glad to talk about the huge hog. The 67-year-old proprietor of Ken's Hatchery and Fish Farms advertises — with a huge sign on a flatbed truck — a 5-pound "Georgia Giant Bream" he says was bred in his ponds.
Big fish, now big hogs.
"We're pretty sure [the hog] is a record," said Holyoak, sitting in a cluttered office. "His head is big as a compact car's tire, probably weighed 100 pounds," he said.
Holyoak said he might want to contact the Guinness Book of World Records for further recognition.
But folks in Alapaha, like Turner, or former Mayor Joe Dixon, who runs a seed business in this town about 20 miles from Tifton, smile when asked if they believe the tales. Both mention something about "fish stories."
For actual verification, you'll have to take Holyoak at his word. Or take the word of Chris Griffin, a plantation hunting guide who says he shot the boar June 12. All that's left is a memory of the beast and a photo with Griffin posing next to what appears to be a monstrous hog.
Holyoak said they buried the animal with a backhoe because the meat of an animal that large is not tasty. They didn't mount it because it was too big for normal mounting equipment. "You'd need someone who mounts elephants," he insisted.
Holyoak says he doesn't care who believes his claim. "There's always doubting Thomases," he said.
In a year or so, he said, he'd dig up the hog and bleach the skull and tusks. Then people will see, he said.
A matter of business
Holyoak expanded his business to wild hog hunts, and a glossy brochure shows a photo of his son, Jason, posing with a dead 695-pound boar. The brochure notes the hunters can surprise their prey from 20-foot-tall, fiberglass hunting stands with recliners. He thinks the hogs have gotten so big on his plantation because they steal his high-octane fish feed.
Darrell Anderson, CEO of the Lafayette, Ind.-based National Swine Registry, said farm-raised hogs grow as large as 1,300 pounds and measure as long as 7 feet along the backbone from head to tail. "If you hang them by their hind legs and you have the front legs stretching out, you'll get another four or five feet," he said.
A hog that size would probably be 5 years old, he said. The animals will grow tusks in the wild. Domesticated, their tusks are trimmed because they are dangerous.
Holyoak said several people had spotted a huge hog on the plantation, and he told hunting guide Griffin months ago to look out for the animal. "I said, 'If you see him, get him,' " he said.
Why? "Because he might leave [the plantation]," Holyoak said. "Why would you want a record to leave and let someone else get the praise?"
He says the big hog was felled by a single rifle shot to the heart. He said there's no way to tell how old it was, "They don't check in and fill out papers for you," he said.
Farmers in the area have complained about feral hogs, which root around looking for food and knocking down crops and vegetation. Holyoak said a neighbor introduced them to the area. Others say it was Holyoak himself.
Feral hogs usually are domesticated hogs gone wild, said Kent Kammermeyer, a Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologist who was co-author of a booklet on feral hogs. Some have mated with descendants of Russian boar, which were brought to the South decades ago for hunting and escaped, Kammermeyer said.
"There is no pure strain of Russian boar in Georgia," said Kammermeyer.
The animals prefer to live near swamps and river bottoms and root around in the ground, digging holes that resemble bomb craters. They are prolific breeders.
"The blood is mixed, and you get these throwouts or throwbacks or whatever you call it," said Buddy Pafford, who owns a pawnshop/hunting goods store in Nashville. He believes Holyoak's claim and is sure that he'll maximize the story's publicity quotient.
Danny Jones of Albany, who is licensed to hunt alligators and says he trapped 200 feral hogs in one year, laughed when told Holyoak claimed Hogzilla had 9-inch-long tusks. "Sounds like a hoax to me," he said, laughing. "I don't know, a 1,000-pound hog? I'd like to see it."
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm.../ap/20040823/ap_on_fe_st/hogzilla_celebrationGa. Town Adopts Hogzilla for Festival
By ELLIOTT MINOR, Associated Press Writer
ALAPAHA, Ga. - With the local legend of Hogzilla spreading worldwide, residents of this tiny Georgia town have decided to feature the prodigious porker in their annual festival. Plantation owner Ken Holyoak said one of his hunting guides shot the 12-foot-long wild hog in June, but few actually saw it before it was buried. Besides the few witnesses, the only proof is a photo showing the guide with the beast dangling from a strap.
Holyoak claims the hog weighed 1,000 pounds and had 9-inch tusks. Now, residents plan to include a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla informational booth and Hogzilla T-shirts in Alapaha's festival in November.
"We're going hog wild," said Darrell Jernigan of Jernigan's Farm Supply. The festival's previous themes include God Bless America, Saluting Our Firemen, and Our Indian Heritage. Residents around town smile when strangers ask them about the massive hog.
"Some say it's like fishing," Elizabeth 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 gets."
Feral hogs, popularly known as wild hogs, are domestic hogs that escaped from farms and began living off the land. Holyoak said his plantation's previous record was a 695-pound hog shot several years ago.
Reminds me of Obelix and his fondness for Wild Boar...bulldog said:Over here in upside-down-land they actually have a magazine called Pig Hunter's Monthly. Our next door neighbour goes out hunting and has two pig-dogs.
another report:Wild boar does disappearing trick
A wild boar has escaped from an abattoir in the Borders shortly before it was due to be slaughtered.
The runaway swine, dubbed Houdini, was last seen breaking out from its pen and heading into bushes on the outskirts of the town of Galashiels.
Lothian and Borders Police said the nine-stone beast was not likely to be dangerous unless cornered.
The animal's fate now rests on either evading capture or engendering the sympathy of the general public.
In 1998, the Tamworth Two pigs caused a media frenzy after they escaped from an abattoir in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Butch and Sundance were finally caught, but were saved from becoming sausages and given a new home to live out their days.
And in 2002, a black boar nicknamed McQueen went on the run after mounting a "great escape" from a slaughterhouse in Stirlingshire.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/14 08:59:16 GMT
© BBC MMIV
Scaled a fence?Wild boar Houdini remains free
A wild boar dubbed Houdini after it scaled a fence at an abattoir in the Borders remains at large.
The nine-stone animal leapt to freedom from its pen at the slaughterhouse in Winston Road, Galashiels on Monday.
Despite the efforts of employees, the runaway boar scaled the fence and fled to nearby woods.
He was last seen by anglers on the River Tweed near Tweedbank. Animal rights campaigners say Houdini has earned the right to live.
Lothian and Borders Police say the boar does not pose a danger unless he is cornered.
The animal's fate now rests on either evading capture or engendering the sympathy of the general public.
In 2002, a black boar nicknamed McQueen went on the run after mounting a "great escape" from a slaughterhouse in Stirlingshire.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/15 09:09:27 GMT
© BBC MMIV
We have something similar here in the US, Boar Hunter Magazine. Rather interesting. For example, I never knew that hunting wild boar could be done as catch-and-release. That's even more testosterone laden than the Hawaiian practice of hunting pigs with just a knife.bulldog said:Over here in upside-down-land they actually have a magazine called Pig Hunter's Monthly. Our next door neighbour goes out hunting and has two pig-dogs.