A Media Star Is Born (and It’s a Pig)

While parents whose children died in the Sichuan earthquake are suing government officials and contractors, some lighter post-quake news is being reported, in the form of a miracle pig. From the New York Times blog:

In the weeks and months after the 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan Province on May 12, killing 88,000, China’s state media reported aggressively on the devastation, while also including uplifting tales of rescuers and survivors. But more recently, state media have narrowed much of its quake coverage to reassuring accounts of heroism and survival.

According to China Daily, the state-run newspaper, the pig was trapped in a collapsed farm shed. When it was finally rescued on June 17, the animal was a mere slip of a thing at 110 pounds, down from its pre-quake weight of 330 pounds, the paper said.

The paper said the farmers who owned the pig sold him for the equivalent of $430 to Fan Jianchuan, the owner of a private museum in the ancient town of Anren, near the city of Chengdu. Mr. Fan put the pig into a livestock exhibit at the museum and gave him a new name — Zhu Jianqiang, meaning Strong-Willed Pig. According to some state media reports, the pig was even given a 10-year life insurance policy.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that Zhu Jianqiang has become “fat, lazy and bad-tempered” from all the attention.

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