AP photo by Kevin Qualls|
Meanwhile, back in the pig pen: Rhonda Blissitt holds a picture of Fred the pig in front of the pen where she and her husband, Phil, raised him in Fruithurst. Before it became known as "Monster Pig," the 1,051-pound hog shot in Delta was known as Fred.
'Monster Pig' not wild, raised on Alabama farm
FRUITHURST (AP) — The huge hog that became known as "Monster Pig" after being killed by an 11-year-old boy was raised on a farm where it had another name: Fred.
Phil Blissitt said he purchased the 6-week-old pig in December 2004 as a Christmas gift for his wife, Rhonda, and they sold it to the owner of Lost Creek Plantation after deciding to get rid of all the pigs at their farm.
He told The Anniston Star in a story Friday that the sale was four days before the hog was killed in a 150-acre fenced area of the plantation.
"I just wanted the truth to be told. That wasn't a wild pig," Rhonda Blissitt said.
The Blissitts said they didn't know the huge hog drawing widespread media attention was Fred until they were contacted by Andy Howell, game warden for the Alabama Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, whose agency found that no laws were violated in the hunt.
"Did you see that pig on TV?" Phil Blissitt recalled Howell asking. "I said, 'Yeah, I had one about that size.' He said, 'No, that one is yours.'
"That's when I knew."
Phil Blissitt said he became irritated when he learned that some thought the photos of Fred were doctored.
"That was a big hog," he said.
Mike Stone, the father of Jamison Stone, the 11-year-old boy who shot the huge hog to death during what they described as a three-hour chase, has said the hog weighed more than 1,000 pounds and was more than 9 feet long. He 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 did tell him, though, that it is not unusual for hunting preserves to buy farm-raised hogs and that the hogs are considered feral once they are released because they are back in a natural environment.
Stone said he brought Jamison to meet with Blissitt Friday morning because he wanted to get more details about the hog. Blissitt said he had about 15 hogs and decided to sell them all off for slaughter, but no one would buy that particular hog because it was too big for slaughter and too big to use for breeding purposes, Stone said.
Stone said Blissitt told him the pig had become a nuisance and that people were often frightened by it when they came onto his property.
"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."
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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