The huge hog that became known as "Monster Pig" after being hunted and killed by an 11-year-old boy had another name: Fred. The not-so-wild pig had been raised on an Alabama farm and was sold to the Lost Creek Plantation just four days before it was shot there in a 150-acre fenced area, the animal's former owner said.
Phil Blissitt told The Anniston Star in a story Friday that he bought the 6-week-old pig in December 2004 as a Christmas gift for his wife, Rhonda, and that they sold it after deciding to get rid of all the pigs at their farm.
"I just wanted the truth to be told. That wasn't a wild pig," Rhonda Blissitt said.
Jamison Stone shot the huge hog during what he and his father described as a three-hour chase. They said it was more than 1,000 pounds and 9 feet long; if anything, it looked even bigger in a now-famous photo of the hunter and the hunted.
Mike Stone said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday that he had been under the impression that the hog was wild, not farm-raised.
Telephone messages left Friday with Eddy Borden, the owner of Lost Creek Plantation, were not immediately returned.
Stone said state wildlife officials told him that it is not unusual for hunting preserves to buy farm-raised hogs and that the hogs are considered feral once they are released.
Stone said he and his son met Blissitt on Friday morning to get more details about the hog. Blissitt said that he had about 15 hogs and decided to sell them for slaughter, but that no one would buy that particular animal because it was too big for slaughter or breeding, Stone said.
Blissitt said that the pig had become a nuisance and that visitors were often frightened by it, Stone said.
"He was nice enough to tell my son that the pig was too big and needed killing," Stone said. "He shook Jamison's hand and said he did not kill the family pet."
The Blissitts said they didn't know the hog that was hunted was Fred until they were contacted by a game warden for the Alabama Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. The agency determined that no laws were violated in the hunt.
Phil Blissitt said he became irritated when he learned that some thought the photo of Fred was doctored.
"That was a big hog," he said.