An Alabama man said he shot and killed a massive feral hog in self-defense when it wandered into his front yard and caused the family dog to go berserk.
Wade Seago, a deer hunter who runs a taxidermy business in Samson, Ala., not far from the state's southern border, told Al.com that he was worried the hog - which weighed 820 pounds and had 6-inch "cutters" - would harm his dog, a small schnauzer named Cruiser.
So, he grabbed a .38-caliber revolver and opened fire.
"Cruiser had this huge hog confused, with all of the barking and movement," Seago told the newspaper. "It was not a good situation."
He added: "By the time I got in a position to shoot, the hog was about 12 yards away. Cruiser was out of my line to the hog, so I fired."
Seago posted a photo with the dead hog on Facebook, saying the animal would be "mounted by me personally" in his taxidermy shop.
The image, which shows the hog hanging upside down from a tree by its hoofs, quickly spread across social media. A video posted just days later shows what appears to be the same giant hog squirming on the ground.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in fact, encourages hunters to help reduce the feral hog population.
The department states on its website that because there are no restrictions on when and how many of the destructive hogs a licensed hunter can kill, "hunters can legally hunt hogs every day of the year."
According to the state agency:
Feral hogs in Alabama pose a serious threat to native wildlife. High reproductive rates, a lack of natural predators, voracious omnivorous feeding habits, destructive rooting behavior and habitat destruction are just a few reasons Alabama sportsmen and land managers are encouraged to help control this nonnative species. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that feral hogs cause more than $800 million of agricultural damage in the United States annually.
Seago told the Associated Press that he certainly has no regrets.
"I didn't think twice about taking down this hog," he said. "I'd do it again tomorrow."
- Washington Post