China to bid farewell to legendary 'strong-willed' pig

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This heroic hog is on its last hoof.

Livestock legend Zhu Jianqiang, whose name means “strong-willed pig” in Chinese, may soon pass away after 14 years — that’s 100 in pig years — the Global Times reported.

Zhu first made international headlines in 2008 when the brave animal survived 36 days while trapped under debris following a magnitude 8 earthquake in Sichuan province, which saw more than 69,000 lives lost, and over 18,000 go missing.

Wednesday marks the 13th anniversary of the devastating quake.

“Since it moved from the debris to the museum in 2008, numerous tourists have visited [Zhu] every day,” said Sichuan’s Jianchuan Museum, which has looked after the pig since that tragic event.

“What’s really behind the attention is not just a pig, but a collective memory,” they wrote on Chinese social-media platform Weibo.

“It is a miracle of life; it is a symbol of strong will,” the museum added. At 14, Zhu has lived as long as most pigs could hope, with a typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

However Zhu’s health has deteriorated since March, the museum has reported.

The stalwart swine lost a staggering 220 pounds — from 330 pounds down to just 110 — while pinned under rubble in Sichuan’s Pengzhou area. The nation was so captivated by the rescue that Jianchuan Museum owner Fan Jianchuan purchased the pig so that Zhu could be celebrated for posterity.

“The purpose of me buying it is to avoid it from being slaughtered, but I never expected it could live until today,” Fan told local news media in 2018, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The plucky porker is so popular that dozens of businesses in China have used Zhu’s name as part of their brand, SCMP has found.

In 2011, Zhu was tapped for cloning by scientists in Shenzhen, and “surprised” researchers with an impressive six genetically identical piglets.

Fans came to social media to deliver their preemptive tributes to Zhu’s remarkable life.

“I’ve been to the museum twice and saw the pig. I was touched by the tour guide’s remarks sharing the pig’s experience,” read one reply to the museum’s post, according to Global Times.

Wrote another, “Incredible creature! Zhu Jianqiang’s story has encouraged us.”

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