Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bear Grylls and the Boar of Calydon

last night, J and I decided to abandon the wild intellectual ferment of life and blob out with a hour or so's tv by watching 'Man versus Wild' on SBS.

In last night's episode Bear was doing his thing shinning down trees and building humpies in the woods of a distinctly wintry looking northern Alabama, and building traps with his usual lack of success in the squirrel killing department.

He was then provided with a tethered (and extremely pissed off) feral pig to dispatch.

What was interesting was how snout curlingly aggressive this feral pig was and being on a long leash how difficult it was to get hold of, jumping, jinking and sliding out of Bear's grasp. He was eventually reduced to jumping on it to pin it down.

Now we could argue about the morality of killing an animal for a tv show, but I'm guessing, that like in Australia, feral pigs in Alabama are a nuisance and a menace and as a consequence men with a penchant for beer, checked shirts and guns are allowed to go kill them, and occasionally get injured by a pissed off pig.

However, watching Bear Grylls try to catch and kill a pig showed just how difficult and dangerous the enterprise would be when armed only with spears and clubs - it was a much more hard core business to chase down a pig and kill it, and why a pig or boar was a fierce adversary and used as a symbol by at least one Roman legion ...

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