'Monster Pig' was really farm-raised 'Fred'

Jamison Stone, 11, kneels behind Fred, which was farm-raised and sold to the hunting preserve four days before the youth killed it. AP photo

FRUITHURST, Ala. — 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.