Sunday, March 27, 2005

Hogzilla

Check out this article about a 8 foot long 800 pound hog running wild in Georgia (before it was killed). That's not something you want to see if you're out for a hike, alone and unarmed. When I was on my way to do a solo hike of the Smokies, the guy who was dropping me off at the trailhead told me not to hike at night. I thought this was good common sense advice, but out of curiosity I asked him why. He said that there are Prussian boars, like the ones from the movie Hannibal, that live in the park. Apparently, they got loose from a hunting preserve and have prove difficult to remove from the park. Fortunately, they are nocturnal, so they don't present much of a problem to hikers. That's fortunate because they will eat people. He told me a story about a local he knew whom the hogs chased up a tree when he was hiking at dusk. He told me that he got a lot of his knowledge from listening to the Park Service over their radio frequencies. Even though this sounds a little like an urban legend, I believed him. He wasn't trying to scare me, just let me know so that I would be careful. I've heard similar reports about animals escaped from hunting preserves from here in Michigan, especially in the UP.

Bottom line: watch out for hogs.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the man who dropped you off at the railhead have a hook instead of a hand?

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You state that because the hogs are nocturnal, that they do not present much of a problem for hikers. I assume you only refer to day hikers, and not hikers that camp, outside, along the trail. That is of course the hogs are careful not to disturb one enjoying a peaceful slumber. Or perhaps its because the hogs are more like the T-Rex's from "Jurassic Park," with their vision based on movement.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Tim Harden said...

You can't camp alongside the trail in the Smokies. You have to camp in shelters that until recently have had fences across the front of them to keep out the black bears, so generally there wouldn't be much of a problem with the hogs once you were in camp.

8:30 PM  

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