A Chinese influencer is under investigation by police after a clip of her roasting and eating a great white shark went viral.
Footage from the vlogger, popularly known by her online pseudonym Tizi, showed her feeding on the predatory fish, which police in the central city of Nanchong confirmed on Sunday were a great white.
“It may look cruel, but the meat is really very tender,” Tizi said, tearing off large chunks of the animal’s grilled meat, in a video posted in mid-July.
In the video, which has since been deleted, she is seen unwrapping a six-foot fish and lying down next to it to show that it is taller than her.
The shark is then cut in half, marinated and barbecued, while the head is cooked in a spicy broth.
Great white sharks are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – just one step before being classified as endangered.
Populations of sharks — some of the oceans’ major apex predators — have been battered in recent decades, the main culprits being finning and industrial longliners.
In China they are listed as protected. Illegal possession can lead to a prison sentence of five to ten years.
“It’s mind-boggling that an internet celebrity can eat a protected animal in broad daylight in front of millions of people!” one commentator wrote in response to the story.
“These uncivilized attention seekers will bend very low to pull eyeballs!” said another.
It is unclear whether Tizi, who has nearly eight million followers, will be punished.
She told local media that she obtained the shark through “legal channels”, but the local agricultural agency said on Monday that her claim was “inconsistent with the facts” and that police were investigating.
Dried baby shark meat is used as cat food in China and can be purchased in many online stores.
Chinese state media has long waged war on viral binge eating videos, known by the Korean slang “mukbang,” while live streaming platforms have pledged for years to shut down accounts promoting overeating and food waste.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)