In a country that eats 5 million metric tonnes of pork per year, there is a certain kudos to being the nation’s most favoured pig. Such is the blessed lot of porker, Zhu Jianqiang.
Zhu’s name, which translates as ‘strong willed or persistent pig’, was earned during the Sichuan earthquake last May when she survived underground for 36 days by eating charcoal and drinking rainwater. She was even voted China’s most popular animal in an online poll.
Zhu’s luck took a turn for the better when she was bought by a rich Sichuanese businessman, given her own bedroom and frequent massages.
It must have all seemed to good to be true. Zhu gorged on sponsored pig feed and even got given medical insurance. But as the Chinese proverb goes ‘indulgences have more victims than swords’ and Zhu is now too fat to go for walks, having doubled in size to 100kg.
In fact, despite her new life of luxury, Zhu may be tiring of the celebrity spotlight. A member of staff at her residence told the China Daily that Zhu blocks the door to her bedroom when she receives too many visitors, and “it’s been increasingly difficult for us to open the door.”
Perhaps like Greta Garbo, she just wants to be alone.
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