Grief over death of ultimate quake survivor

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 18 Jun 2021

A pig that became an unlikely heroic icon in China after surviving 36 days under rubble from a 2008 earthquake has died at the age of 14, sparking an outpouring of emotion yesterday.

Zhu Jianqiang, or "Strong Pig," shot to fame after being discovered alive after the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan province on May 12, 2008.

The earthquake left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing and the pig's miraculous story, subsisting on a bag of charcoal and rainwater, was hailed as an inspiring symbol of the will to survive. Witnesses said the young pig had lost so much weight by the time it was pulled from the rubble that it looked more like a goat.

A museum near Chengdu had bought the pig for 3,008 yuan (HK$3,626) and kept it as a tourist attraction.

It succumbed to "old age and exhaustion" on Wednesday night, the museum said on Weibo. In human terms, it was 100 years old.

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