ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Earlier this month, an 11-year-old Alabama boy was hunting with his father in a commercial preserve where he shot and killed a wild hog.
Now, we report this item neither to praise nor condemn young Jamison Stone but only to remark on the extraordinary size of the animal. The hog, whose picture is circulating on the Internet with the alacrity of a diet coke and mentos geyser video, weight - according to Jamison's father - 1,051 pounds and measured nine-foot-four from snout to tail. We're not taking Mr. Stone's word for this. Jerry Cunningham owns Jerry's Taxidermy in Oxford, Alabama, where he is in the process of making the monument out of this monumental animal.
Mr. Cunningham, how big is this hog?
Mr. JERRY CUNNINGHAM (Taxidermist, Jerry's Taxidermy): Well, it's about twice the size of a normal wild hog that we would see on a big scale. Most of the hogs that come in are probably 250 to 350 in weight, and the large would be 500.
SIEGEL: How do you account for this? Do you think it's an especially old animal or is this particularly lush area, where pigs eat very well? What do you think?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Oh, yes. It's the lush area or like that, but it's probably just an old animal to get that size.
SIEGEL: How many folks have come right out and take a look at this beast?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Well, we hadn't been able to show anybody. It's just a hog. Now, we are preparing the hog for the mountain. We'd had lots of calls.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Mostly good comments. We've had a few negative comments.
SIEGEL: There are people who feel that, you know, hunting is a blood sport and there are people who object to this. They find it immoral.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Right. I don't. I think in the Bible, God gave us dominion over animals for our use. And if you're going to use the animal, it's okay to hunt.
SIEGEL: The transport of this animal, after he was shot, must have been also a great challenge?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Right. The guy that owns a preserve, he brought his tractor down to the creek, where the hog finally expired. And they had to cut a tree all the way to get to the creek with the tractor, and picked it up with a chain on the front bucket. It's taller than a basketball goal. It was high.
SIEGEL: (Unintelligible) hung from its snout to tail - where it's almost just about 10 feet, which should be.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Oh, it was hung by its bite and leg and it was longer than that.
SIEGEL: Longer than that, so longer than 10 feet tall.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: You know, I got there just to cape out the animal.
SIEGEL: To cape it out - you have to explain its term of art from taxidermy.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Okay, that's just the head and mouth, from the shoulders to the snout.
SIEGEL: And how big an ornament is that going to be?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Well, its neck is 54 inches and its shoulders are 74 inches around.
SIEGEL: So this is not to be hung on the wall of some small family wreck room, by any means?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Well, it can be hung on an eight-foot ceiling, but it's going to be big.
SIEGEL: How long will the job take before you finished your work as a taxidermist?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: We're going to put it ahead because we have white-tailed deer expo in Birmingham every year in July, and we want to have it ready for the July expo. So many people want to see it there.
SIEGEL: Oh, this is going on the road?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Yeah. The people we're amounted for, they'll probably have a booth and have it in there.
SIEGEL: And what have you been referring to this? Have you - does he have a name in the shop when you worked on him?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: No, it stayed at my shop.
SIEGEL: Yeah. Do they refer to him at any particular way, as you…
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: The big pig.
SIEGEL: Just the big pig.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: All the friends, they've called, and anybody that knows me, they have called - hey, can I come down and see the big pig? Well, you know, it's not invisible to see. It's in the freezer, in a plastic bag.
SIEGEL: And I gather that the Stone family will be eating sausage for a long time, from this…
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Yeah. We didn't do the meat. We're just doing the head mount. But I'm sure they had lots of meat.
SIEGEL: Well, Mr. Cunningham, thank you very much for talking with us.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: Okay. And thank you very much.
SIEGEL: That's Jerry Cunningham, who owns Jerry's Taxidermy in Oxford, Alabama, talking about, as he would tell you, the big pig. This particular wild hog weighed in at 1,051 pounds and measured nine feet four inches.
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