Japanese search for Hogzilla (Video)
March 15, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated March 15, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.
Everything is bigger in Texas, even the hogs -- well, at least that's what the Japanese think -- and that's what they are searching for.
A crew from a Japanese television show about the world's biggest, most dangerous animals, found their way to Gerard Hungerford's Mission Valley home for a week of not only feral hog trapping but also fishing and a good ol' Texas welcome.
The Hungerfords, a family of hog trappers, said the experience has been something they'll value for years.
"It's interesting. Very interesting," said Hungerford. "It's just the whole language and their culture."
A translator was on hand to help everyone communicate.
The crew, which is filming for a new show, "S Class Hazardous Animals," arrived Monday at Hungerfords' home on River Road and since then have been gar fishing and had some Texas barbecue.
Erika Yazawa, a Tokyo starlet who serves as the show's host, caught her first gar.
She may be just 5-feet tall, but Yazawa, 22, has a loud personality.
"It's very exciting," she said as she yelled in Japanese, using her hands and facial expressions to show just how big the gar was.
Hungerford has been trapping feral hogs since he was a kid. His connection to guide Mark Malfa led the show to him.
Malfa, 46, of Houston, has been a guide for many years and was even featured in the first season of Discovery Channel's "River Monsters."
The crew found his website and wanted to search for the "mega hog."
"They've never seen any of this, and they just thought it was the coolest thing," Malfa said.
Malfa helped Yazawa catch her first gar, and when they showed an interest in finding large feral hogs, he suggested Hungerford.
Hungerford, 52, doesn't use a gun or rope to catch the wild hogs on the many ranches he's called out to. Instead, he uses his knowledge of the animals and surroundings as well as strategy - and some corn - to capture them. He then sells the hogs to a buyer.
The largest hog he has ever trapped is 650 pounds, but Friday, the crew was able to see much more average-sized 250-pound hogs.
"We're searching for the mega hog," the director Tatsuya Kuroe said in Japanese. "We won't go home until we find one."