Legendary pig that survived devastating 2008 Sichuan quake dies
Published: Jun 17, 2021 11:28 AM Updated: Jun 17, 2021 07:58 PM
File photo: CFP

File photo: CFP

The legendary pig, which survived the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and was regarded by many in China as a living miracle, died on Wednesday night, said the local museum that has been caring for the animal since the disaster.

Zhu Jianqiang, which means "strong-willed pig" in Chinese, died at the age of 14 at 10:50 pm on Wednesday due to old age and exhaustion, according to a notification from the Sichuan Museum of Jianchuan on Thursday on China's social media platform Sina Weibo. 

Some reports said the pig will be made into a specimen, but the Global Times learned from a source on Thursday that the museum has not made any plan on how to deal with the pig's body. 

The topic of the pig's death soared to the third-hottest subject on Weibo on Thursday morning, with netizens pouring in to offer their condolences over the animal's death. 

"Thank you for showing us the greatness of life by demonstrating your strong will," read one comment. 

"We were worried that he could not make it to May 12, but he eventually kept going for another month. He really was a 'strong-willed pig'," read another. 

On May 10, the museum said that the pig was near the end of its life, prompting concerns among netizens that it might not make it to the 13th anniversary of the earthquake on May 12. 

Many people went to the museum to bid farewell to the legendary animal after seeing the notice. 

The reported plan to make the pig into a specimen has encountered opposition from some netizens, while many suggested erecting a statue for the pig as an alternative way to commemorate the heroic animal. 

The pig's original owner told the media that he was sad to hear the news, but his wish had always been to see the pig die a natural death, and now that wish has been realized, reported The Beijing News on Thursday. 

In human terms, the pig was 100 years old, according to the pig's breeder.

The animal lived for 36 days trapped under debris after the magnitude 8 earthquake hit Wenchuan, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, becoming a nationwide celebrity and  symbol of strength. 

It survived by living off charcoal and rainwater before it was rescued.