China mourns death of ‘strong-willed pig’ that survived 36 days under rubble following Sichuan earthquake

·1 min read
Zhu Jianqiang (AFP via Getty Images)
Zhu Jianqiang (AFP via Getty Images)

Millions of Chinese are mourning the death of a pig which became a national symbol of resilience after surviving 36 days under rubble following an earthquake.

Zhu Jianqiang, whose name means “strong-willed pig”, died at the age of 14 due to “old age and exhaustion”, according to the museum in China’s Sichuan province where the animal resided.

It became a household name in China after its rescue following a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 which left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

It was seen as a symbol of hope and resilience in the wake of the tragedy after its survival under the rubble thanks to a bag of charcoal and rainwater.

Millions of people have taken to social media site Weibo to remember the pig and pay tribute to its long life.

“Thank you for interpreting the greatness of life with your own strength,” one user said.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

In May, the museum announced that Zhu’s life is nearing its end in a farewell post on Weibo.

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

“Since it moved from the debris to the museum in 2008, numerous tourists have visited [Zhu] every day,” Jianchuan Museum said.

“It is a miracle of life; it is a symbol of strong will,” it added.

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