Heroes come in all shapes and sizes in the animal world as well as in the human realm. Perhaps those with four feet (or hooves in this case) don’t get all the attention they rightfully deserve, but in China, this has already begun to change.

Zhu Jianqiang, whose name translates to Strong-Willed Pig, survived more than a month buried under the devastating rubble of the 2008 earthquake that afflicted China’s Sichuan province.

The 8.0-magnitude quake, which occurred on May 12, 2008, claimed more than 90,000 lives and wreaked a path of devastating destruction all across Sichuan and parts of neighboring Shanxi and Gansu provinces, was considered the worst natural disaster in a generation.

Now Zhu, who is already considered a hero, is in the headlines once again, this time as the result of a successful clone.

Over the last few weeks, scientists have produced six piglets with DNA identical to their sire. They all look a lot like their father, bearing between their eyes an identical birthmark.

As amazing as this is all by itself, consider the fact that Zhu was castrated before the earthquake struck, and the five-year-old pig (about 60 in human terms) was buried alive for 36 days before being rescued.

It is surmised that the 330-pound) pig survived his traumatic and harrowing ordeal by chewing charcoal and drinking rainwater.

It is expected that the piglets will be paired off and spend their lives in a museum and genetic institute, according to the Hong-Kong based Sunday Morning Post.

It would seem that sometimes even pigs are blessed with that intangible something that heroes are made of.

Go Zhu!




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.