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Stuffed toy wolf now anti-gov't symbol in HK

HONG KONG--A stuffed toy wolf has sold out at Hong Kong's IKEA stores, the Swedish furniture giant said Tuesday, after it became an unlikely symbol of opposition to the city's unpopular government.

Hundreds of the stuffed toys, called Lufsig, flew off the shelves within hours on Monday and again on Tuesday, days after an anti-government protester threw it at the city's leader Leung Chun-ying during a weekend public meeting.

“Lufsig has been sold out at all IKEA stores this morning,” a spokeswoman said, adding that there were queues before the store opened.

The innocent-looking toy depicts the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” and can be seen holding a stuffed toy resembling the grandmother.

IKEA's website said owners can use the toy — which has a Chinese name similar to a profanity in the Cantonese dialect — to recreate the fairy tale by rescuing the grandmother from the wolf's belly.

“The Wolf” is also Leung's nickname in a reference to what critics see as his untrustworthiness and cunning.

IKEA did not comment on the reason why the toy had become so popular.

“The toy was politically utilized by protesters targeting the chief executive so it has become a political symbol of opposition to the government,” Sonny Lo, head of the Department of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, told AFP.

A Hong Kong Facebook page dedicated to the toy wearing a red checked shirt with jeans has gained over 35,000 likes since it was created on Saturday.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 as a semi-autonomous territory with its own political and legal system that guarantees civil liberties not seen on the mainland.

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This picture taken from IKEA's website shows the toy wolf Lufsig, which has become, for those who oppose the Hong Kong government, a symbol of its corruption and various failings. (Captured from the Internet)

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