Couldn’t resist with this story. Afghanistan’s only pig, known as “Pig”, has been locked up in quarantine to protect itself and other animals.

Pig  is photographed, at a zoo in Kabul, Afghanistan on 30 April 2009. The World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 April said, that it would cease use of the word swine and stick with the scientific title of a new variant of influenza A(H1N1), in light of complaints from the pork industry. WHO updated the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of swine influenza to 257, including eight deaths.  EPA/S. SABAWOON

Pig is photographed, at a zoo in Kabul, Afghanistan on 30 April 2009. The World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 April said, that it would cease use of the word swine and stick with the scientific title of a new variant of influenza A(H1N1), in light of complaints from the pork industry. WHO updated the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of swine influenza to 257, including eight deaths. EPA/S. SABAWOON

However this is not all light-hearted banter. According to this article, by Golnar Motevalli, the Swine Flu is the latest blow during a tragic few years at Kabul Zoo.

Shabby and rundown, Kabul Zoo is a far cry from zoos in the developed world, but has nevertheless come a long way since it suffered on the front line of Afghanistan’s 1992-4 civil war. Mujahideen fighters then ate the deer and rabbits and shot dead the zoo’s sole elephant. Shells shattered the aquarium. One fighter climbed into the lion enclosure but was immediately killed by Marjan, the zoo’s most famous inhabitant. The man’s brother returned the next day and lobbed a hand grenade at the lion leaving him toothless and blind.

And, as the Telegraph notes, it has been a traumatic journey for “Pig” also.

“Pig” was one of two given to Afghanistan by China in 2002, months after the ouster of the hard line Taliban regime, to help reestablish the zoo after it was destroyed during civil war. However, the other pig – and their offspring – were killed in an attack by a bear. Despite being the only pig, it was not too lonely, Zoo Director, Mr Saqib said. “The pig made friends with a goat and was happy sticking to the goat in the enclosure, where some other goats and deer were on show for visitors.”

Credit: Reuters

Credit: Reuters

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