Authorities and local media said Chinese police have opened an investigation after a controversial video blog posted a controversial video showing it tasting a great white shark, which is a protected species.
Images of the young woman known as Tizzy show roasting, boiling and then tasting the meat of the great predator. They sparked angry reactions on the Chinese internet.
Police in Nanchong City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, confirmed Sunday that it was indeed a great white shark, according to Chinese media Fengmian.
“The meat is so tender,” says Tizi, in this video posted online in mid-July, while enjoying big chunks of roasted meat.
In these photos, widely reposted by Chinese media and netizens, we see the young woman unpacking the two-meter fish and lying next to it to emphasize its large size.
The shark is then cut in half, marinated, and grilled, while the head is cooked in a spicy broth – classic fish preparation methods in China.
The Nanchong Municipal Agriculture Bureau said in a statement on Monday that the “public security police” was conducting an “investigation” into the case.
Great white sharks are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of “vulnerable” species – just below “critically endangered”.
Global shark populations have been decimated in recent decades, in part due to fishing.
In China, sharks are on the list of protected species. Possession is illegal and the penalty can be up to 10 years in prison.
“It’s amazing that a web star can eat a protected animal in front of millions of people in broad daylight,” wrote one user on the social network Weibo, in line with the majority of the comments.
“Those uneducated are prepared for the worst just to get attention,” said another.
It was not immediately clear if Tizi was under a personal investigation or if she was facing a penalty.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”