Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2006
The Shetland pig, or grice, was a specific and special feral boar that was driven into extinction 100 years ago. It was called a “scourge of lambs, landowners and local produce.”
There are no known photographs of it, although some drawings (such as the one above) exist.
Highlighted in BBC News and other media, it’s been all grice and no pig with this news.
The Scotsman recently noted the grice’s distinctive appearance:
Short, squat, with a mohawk of bristled hair running down its spine, the grice was a primitive domesticated pig that became extinct after locals on the island were introduced to plumper and more docile species.
But for centuries before that, grice had the run of the islands in the summer and were free to take up their favourite activities – goring their 4in tusks into lambs and sheep, digging up pasture lands in search of worms and terrifying livestock. The creatures would then spend ill-tempered winters in the home of local crofters.
Now people can get a good view (see photos here) of what the grice probably appeared to look like, during its years of glory. A taxidermy re-creation will be exhibited at the Shetland museum, beginning spring 2007.
It may be turkey for most people in the USA on Thanksgiving, but, ah, some of our Shetland ancestors might have had a juicy grice roast. Yummy. (My apologies to vegetarians, of which I am one.)
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.