Handley Tusk Request

The association has received the following story and request for information which we post here for both the interest of readers and response.


I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge about the pig my father, Ken Handley, shot near 'the bridge to know where' (Whanganui region) prior to the second world war. My father had recounted to me, many years ago, that the pig he had shot, a barrow I believe, and one that had had its grinders knocked out, had tusks that went in a complete circle and back out through the jaw bone. The pig was in very poor condition. The tusks had a measurement of thirty-two and a half inches in length.

My father lent the tusks to the father of Ken Cuthbertson (Two Dogs and a Rifle) fame, whom had a sports store in either Wanganui or Raetihi. From there the tusks were taken the British Museum of Natural History by a man with the title of 'Sir', whose name I can't remember.  While serving in Egypt in WW2, my father was sent a copy of an English magazine which apparently had a photo of the tusks. I visited the British Museum in London in 1979 or 1980 and told the story. I was taken down to the museum vaults where a person did his best to look for the tusks, but to no avail. I was told that the museum had been bombed in WW2 and artefacts had been lost.

I did write an story in a New Zealand pig hunting magazine around the mid-nineties, which was published, but until now, have done nothing since.

Perhaps someone might know of these tusks?

Stuart Handley