A Chinese influencer is under investigation for a post in which she appears to roast and eat a great white shark.
The influencer, who goes under the name of Tizi, and who has more than 7.8 million followers on Douyin, has built a following based on her practice of cooking and eating unusual animals. This time, however, she may have gone too far, as she posted a clip in which she claims to have eaten a great white shark.
The clip shows Tizi collect a two-metre-long shark at a fish mongers in Nanchong. Tizi then cuts the fish in half, roasts the tail and boils the head in a broth.
“It may look vicious, but its meat is truly super tender,” she says in the clip, before sharing he met with local villagers.
While the shocking clip may have gone viral and gained the influencer new followers, it also caused quite a backlash as the great white shark is a protected species in China.
The clip was brought to the attention of local police in Nanchong, who have since opened an investigation into the alleged infringement. Penalties for the traffic and trade of protected species in China are severe and Tizi could face significant jail time if found to have broken the law.
While an initial investigation by police confirmed that the fish featured in the video was a great white shark, Tizi herself has claimed that the shark was a hook tooth shark that was bred in captivity and bought legally. A local news investigation confirmed that the fish mongers featured in the video did not sell the fish to the influencer, but was only used as a backdrop for the video shoot.
“I bought it legally and I am looking for a lawyer. These people were talking nonsense,” she told Red Star News.