Two-year-old Wei Tsao, known as Keke to his parents, had been playing in the garden when he crawled towards his family's pig pen where the sow had recently given birth.
When we came out we saw the pig about 80 metres away gnawing on Keke's head
Left to his own devices Keke entered the pig pen and, as the little boy moved closer to the piglets, their protective mother charged him.
Distraught dad Sun Tsai, 25, said: "We had popped inside for just a couple of minutes when we heard the screams.
"When we came out we saw the pig about 80 metres away gnawing on Keke's head."
The screams from the little boy were heard across the village where the family live.
Locals rushed to the family home, wrestling the maternal pig to the ground before strapping her to a tree.
The pig was then beaten to death before its stomach was sliced open.
Inside were found to be fragments of Keke's skull and hair.
Cheng Yuan, the 62-year-old leader of the village in Suining County, in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, said: "This is a horrible tragedy.
"We had to cut the pig open, not as an act of revenge but to prove to the authorities that it had indeed killed and eaten Keke."
A spokesman for local police said: "Sows are often docile creatures but pregnant pigs and ones who have just given birth can be very protective and turn aggressive towards anything they consider to be a threat to their piglets.
"We urge farmers to keep their pigs in their pens."