Zhu Jianqiang has finally gone to hog heaven.
Sichuan’s beloved suid, whose name means “strong-willed pig,” reached his final resting pen in the sky on Wednesday, the Global Times has reported, after hanging on by his last hoof during this past month.
He was 14 years old — or about 100 in human years.
This celebrated swine has spent the past 13 years being cared for by the Jianchuan Museum in Sichuan province, who acquired Zhu following a magnitude-8 earthquake in 2008, which stole the lives of some 87,000 people around Wenchuan county. The tenacious trotter miraculously made it 36 days while trapped under building rubble, surviving on only rainwater and nibbles of charcoal until he was rescued.
Zhu lost two-thirds of his body weight, shrinking from 330 pounds to just 100, while pinned by debris in the quake’s wake — proof this porker was determined to survive.
Instead of being returned to his original owner, a livestock farmer with plans to take Zhu to slaughter, the Jianchuan Museum insisted they care for the animal, who would become revered for his heroism.
The 13th anniversary of that devastating event was May 12. Meanwhile, Zhu was in poor health, and many came to his sty-side to bid farewell. His breeder had estimated his age in human terms to be around 100 years at the time.
Said one mourner on Weibo, according to the Global Times, “Thank you for showing us the greatness of life by demonstrating your strong will.”
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