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Beijing Man Saves Pig

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese man who bought an emaciated pig who survived for 36 days under rubble after May's massive Sichuan earthquake and promised to care for it for life has been given an award by an animal rights group.

The pig, pinned in his sty after the 7.9 magnitude quake, was bought by local businessman Fan Jianchuan who was moved by its ordeal and named it "Zhu Jianqiang", or "Strong Pig", according to state media.

It survived by eating charcoal and drinking rainwater.

"Thanks to Fan Jianchuan, Zhu Jianqiang's miraculous struggle to live was not in vain," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Director Jason Baker said in a statement.

"Zhu Jianqiang has shown beyond a doubt that pigs, including the billions who are killed for food, have the same overwhelming will to survive that humans and all other animals do," he added.

"I hope that people who hear this story will do something for pigs, too, by not eating them."

The group has given Fan a framed certificate.

Pork is the main staple meat in China. The Chinese character for "house" is made up of the word for "roof" over the word for "pig".

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard)

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