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A pig survives quake and a happy ending is promised
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Having starved for 36 days, the amazing pig survives, but is sick and scrawny.

Miraculously, on June 17, 36 days after a powerful earthquake wrecked a village in Sichuan Province on May 12, a pig was carried out alive from the rubble.

The intriguing story has been widely circulated on the Internet. Deeply moved by the pig’s story, millions of people prayed that the hero pig, which has just survived the earthquake, could escape the kitchen knife the rest of his life.

Fan Jianchuan, curator of the Jianchuan Museum in a nearby county, bought the pig on June 22 for 3,008 yuan from the pig’s owners, a couple. Mr. Fan said he would care for the pig till his natural death. Plus, the museum donated 10,000 yuan to the couple to help them make a living.

The pig is now in feeble condition which is compounded by a lack of nutrition.  

"It's just incredible! No matter how fat a pig is, five days without eating or drinking is its limit, not to mention a month," said Pan Banggui, a local veterinarian who recently checked the pig's health.

He also warned that eating too much food would be dangerous for the pig as he restores his health.

Having scrutinized the scene, Pan offered his opinions to shed some light on the battle-for-survival tale.

"First of all, the collapsing slabs were bolstered by the walls instead of crushing the pig," analyzed Pan. "The animal was confined to a cramped space only a half meter high where he could only lie on his side. The inactivity turned out to conserve his energy."

More amazingly, the hungry pig ate charcoal that happened to scatter around the space when the trough was buried by bricks after the quake.

"The charcoal could fill his stomach before he starved to death, although it was not nutritious," said Pan.

The pig's fat reserves and the rain he was able to sip also helped increase the odds of his survival.

"I think the pig must have a strong will to live. Usually this pig consumes 30 kilograms of food and water a day,” added Pan. “It is unimaginable how the animal lived through the 36 days."

"The moment the pig was rescued from the ruins, we used a board to protect his eyes from the glaring sunshine," the couple recalled. "And we saw the animal shed tears when we fed him later. We are too poor to feed him, so we had to sell him."

The curator said his museum owns a breeding farm and has reserved a shed for the pig.

(China.org.cn by He Shan, June 23, 2008)

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