Smiling pig goes viral after flood rescue
 
Photo: Shanghai Daily
 
A smiling pig has become the latest online celebrity after a photograph showing it being saved from flooding in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region went viral.
 
The pig was raised by a farmer in Danliao, a village in Qinzhou, close to the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park.
 
Qinzhou was recently battered by heavy rain, causing severe flooding after the water in local rivers exceeded warning levels, said the park’s Wu Fengyou.
 
“The village is located on low-lying land, so it was badly affected by flooding. Houses and animals were submerged in the water,” Wu said. “We sent rescuers to help with the evacuation.”
 
In the photograph that went viral, two rescuers are lifting the pig out of water, while the animal appears to be smiling from ear to ear.
 
One of the rescuers said the picture was taken on August 17 at a pig farm. Other photographs showed that water levels in the area had risen knee high, submerging parts of the farm. Two other pigs were also saved.
 
“I’m blown away by the pig’s facial expression!” the rescuer wrote on his Sina Weibo account with photographs attached.
 
The photograph struck a chord with many Chinese. A post containing memes of the pig have been forwarded thousands of times and attracted several thousand comments.
 
“I hope it will not be turned into sausages after the rescue,” wrote one Weibo user, referring to a report about piglets rescued from a fire in England.
 
The BBC said that after 18 piglets and two sows survived the fire in Wiltshire in February, farm manager Rachel Rivers thanked firefighters by giving them sausages.
 
The firefighters initially said the sausages were “fantastic” but following complaints have since said sorry.
 
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said the piglets were “no better off” for escaping the fire.
 
The BBC quoted a spokesman as saying: “We’ll be sending Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service packs of vegan sausages so that they can see how easy it is to truly be heroes for pigs — by sparing them all suffering.”
 
Commenting on China’s smiling pig, another Weibo user wrote: “Maybe our ‘Second Brother’ was trying to encourage us to accept life’s difficulties with a smile.”
 
“Second Brother” is the nickname of Zhu Bajie, one of the three helpers of Monk Xuanzang in the Chinese epic “Journey into the West.” He takes the form of a pig, and his name is often used to indicate pigs.
 
The “smiling” picture captured hearts across the nation and led to the creation of many memes.
 
Humorous captions such as “Stop pulling my ears!” and “It’s over, I’m going to be made into braised pork!” have been circulating on Weibo.
 
Large areas of Guangxi, including Qinzhou, suffered heavy rain this month as Typhoon Hato swept across south China. Qinzhou is forecast to have more downpours in the coming days.
 

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