Um, so the Chinese people have chosen an earthquake-surviving pig as the most inspirational animal of 2008. (Ummmm … I thought the Chinese had their own calendar … )
A pig that became a nationwide celebrity after surviving for 36 days buried beneath rubble after this year’s Sichuan earthquake has been named China’s most inspirational animal of 2008.
“Zhu Jianqiang” or “Strong-Willed Pig”, won the award in an online vote, beating six dogs, a bird, a turtle and a cat to the coveted title.
The porker shot to fame after he was discovered alive in the debris of a house on June 17, more than five weeks after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake which killed about 90,000 people in the southwestern province. The owners of the house under which he was being raised had not bothered looking through the rubble because they assumed that no animal could have lived through the devastation.
The pig survived on just rainwater and a bag of charcoal although his weight had fallen from 150kg to just 50kg.
He was then sold to become the prime exhibit at a museum set up to commemorate the quake, where his new owners guaranteed him a life free from the worries of the slaughterhouse and traditional Sichuan pork dishes.
A sweet tale indeed, although a report in the China Daily newspaper injected a sour note: apparently the Strong-Willed Pig has become a bit of a greedy pig in his new life as the Jianchuan museum.
“It’s gotten fatter and lazier by the day,” the paper quoted one of its keepers 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.”
Listen up, Westerners! We can’t let those Chinese beat us! We have to elect an inspirational animal, too! Is it one of the Puppy Cam Shiba Inus? The soon-to-be-elected Obama puppy? Brandon Davis??? LEO???
Who is America’s most inspirational animal of the year???