‘Strong Pig’ China’s animal of year

Beijing, December 22:

A celebrity pig that survived for 36 days buried beneath rubble in quake-hit southwest China has been named the nation’s animal of the year, state press reported.

The pig won the award in an online vote after his ordeal earned him celebrity status and a plush life as the top attraction at an earthquake museum, the China Daily said in a weekend report.

The pig, known as “Zhu Jianqiang” which means “Strong Pig”, shot to fame after he was discovered alive beneath rubble, 36 days after the magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck Sichuan province on May 12.

The pig survived on rainwater and a bag of charcoal during his ordeal and was sold to the Jianchuan Museum, which agreed to nurture him for the rest of his life as a reminder of the nation’s resilience in disaster.

Now free from the worry of the slaughterhouse, the pig enjoys a cushy life at the museum, the report said. “It’s got fatter and lazier by the day,” the paper quoted a museum staffer as saying. “We used to take it out for a walk every morning and afternoon, but now it’s too lazy

— and too fat — to do it. So we’re feeding it only twice a day.”