A middle-aged man who suffered losses in China’s volatile stock market took to the streets of Kunming, Yunnan province yesterday in an attempt to auction off his beloved pet alpaca.
The man was seen leading the alpaca, named Big White, down crowded Nanping Street. The animal had a pink bow tied to its head and a poster draped from its body reading: “Played with the stock market and failed—selling mythical animal”.
Big White’s owner, Fang Zhiliang, told reporters that his fortune took a hit in the recently plunging stock market, and that his house and cars are mortgaged. His daughter is going to enter graduate school soon, and he said selling the pet is now his last resort to earn some cash.
“If I didn’t need money badly I wouldn’t want to sell it,” Fang was quoted as saying in a Yunnan Net report. “When I first bought it, it was just the size of a small lamb. After raising it for two years, I pretty much treat it as part of the family.”
Fang purchased the alpaca from New Zealand for 100,000 yuan as a gift to his daughter. He’s now willing to part with Big White for 150,000 yuan, an asking price that he said is based upon investments he put into raising the animal for two years.
“For just 150,000 RMB, you can bring it home,” Fang told onlookers, adding that the alpaca could even “dance to ‘Xiao Pingguo’ with you”. The animal was paraded through the streets for about 20 minutes until urban management officers showed up and told Fang and his mythical creature to get lost.
Some have speculated that the man’s stunt was actually a subtle middle-finger to the stock market and its manipulators, as the alpaca is often referred to in Chinese as a “grass mud horse”—the pronunciation of which is similar to a vulgar phrase cursing one’s mother.
By Maggie Wong