May 6, 2009

Afghanistan's Only Pig Quarantined

I was going to write something serious about the H1N1 influenza virus spreading around the world, but now that it seems to be fizzling out (at least for now), I thought I'd post something light and funny instead.

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu.

The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain.

"For now the pig is under quarantine, we built it a room because of swine influenza," Aziz Gul Saqib, director of Kabul Zoo, told Reuters. "We've done this because people are worried about getting the flu."

Worldwide, more than 1,000 people have been infected with the virus, according to the World Health Organization, which also says 26 people have so far died from the strain. All but one of the deaths were in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.

There are no pig farms in Afghanistan and no direct civilian flights between Kabul and Mexico.

"We understand that, but most people don't have enough knowledge. When they see the pig in the cage they get worried and think that they could get ill," Saqib said.

The pig was a gift to the zoo from China, which itself quarantined some 70 Mexicans, 26 Canadians and four Americans in the past week...
Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 6, 2009 11:42 PM

To add to funny stuff.

Egyptian government is currently fighting (legally so far) Copts for the right to slaughter all their pigs.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 11:18 AM

Hilarious! although I found myself feeling pretty sorry for the lion.

Posted by: ramsis Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 11:47 AM

Heh. Amusing story.

Though I have to admit that a part of me wonders how long it's going to be before a terrorist decides that the pig is a legitimate target for an attack...

leo -

I heard about the thing in Egypt, though I'd thought that the government had decided to back down on it. Wouldn't surprise me if I was mistaken, however.

Posted by: junior Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 1:14 PM


I am not sure of details myself but it would appear that story has some merit.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 1:28 PM

Has PETA heard about this?

Posted by: Savtadotty Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 2:07 PM

Some (U. S.) schools have been closed where I live because of flu-infected students. I happened to be in the boys' room of one between classes that wasn't closed. Twelve adolescent males came and went. Soap in every dispenser. None washed their hands---but all were careful to rinse with cold water before leaving.

I'm glad my mom isn't alive to read this...

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 2:45 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Read my blog on Kindle


Recommended Reading