A smiling pig has become China’s newest online celebrity after a photograph showing it being saved from flooding in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region went viral online recently.
The pig was raised by a farmer in Danliao Village in the city of Qinzhou, according to authorities with China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, which is close to the village.
Qinzhou was recently battered by heavy downpours, causing the water in local rivers to exceed warning levels leading to severe flooding, said Wu Fengyou, with the park.
“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 in green uniforms can be seen lifting the pig out of water by its ears and legs, while the animal appears to be smiling from ear to ear.
According to one of the rescuers, the picture was taken on Aug. 17 at a pig farm. Photographs provided by the rescuers showed that water levels in the area had risen to 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 personal Sina Weibo microblog account with the photographs attached.
The photograph struck a chord with many Chinese. A post containing memes of the pig had been forwarded more than 4,000 times and drawn about 3,000 comments as of 12:30 p.m. Monday.
“I hope it will not be turned into sausages after the rescue,” wrote Weibo user Bianzedaren, making reference to reports that 18 piglets and two adult pigs saved from a fire in England were reportedly made into sausages for the firefighters that saved them.
The picture has captured the hearts of many people and led to the creation of many memes featuring the pig.
Humorous captions such as “Stop pulling my ears!” “Smiling like a 100-kg child” and “It’s over, I’m going to be made into braised pork!” have been circulating on Weibo.
Large areas of Guangxi, including Qinzhou, received heavy rainstorms this month. The rainfall continued over the past few days as Typhoon Hato swept south China. Qinzhou is forecast to have more downpours in the coming days, according to local meteorological authorities.