- A blogger was fined $18,514 after illegally buying and eating a great white shark, per Bloomberg.
- Videos posted to social media show her buying, slicing, and eating the roughly six-foot shark.
- Great white sharks are considered “vulnerable” by the WWF and are legally protected in China.
A Chinese food blogger was fined the equivalent of $18,500 after she shared a video of her illegally buying and eating a great white shark.
The blogger, identified by officials only as Jin, and known as Tizi in her videos, broke wildlife protection laws in China when she bought and consumed the shark in April 2022, officials in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan said, according to Bloomberg.
Insider previously reported that the blogger in question is well-known for posting mukbang videos, where influencers film themselves taking part in extreme-eating challenges.
She has previously streamed herself eating crocodiles and ostriches, and had 7.8 million followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
According to the media outlet, Jin paid 7,700 yuan ($1,141) to buy the shark on Alibaba’s Taobao shopping platform. She then posted videos on Douyin and Kuaishou, another video-sharing platform, according to Bloomberg.
The videos show her picking up a roughly 6.6-foot shark from a store before slicing, cooking, and eating it.
The videos went viral in China, but were swiftly met with backlash.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), great white sharks are considered a vulnerable species, with a “high risk” of extinction in the wild.
They are also legally protected in China. Illegal possession and the unlawful trade of wildlife products in China can lead to fines or a prison sentence.
Authorities in Sichuan Province started investigating the food blogger in August last year. At the time, Jin claimed that she had bought the great white shark legally and said she was looking for a lawyer.
“These people are talking nonsense,” she said, per the South China Morning Post.
Two individuals involved in catching and selling the animal have also been arrested, according to Bloomberg.
In February 2020, China launched an immediate ban on the buying, selling, and eating of wild animals. The ban was introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases.
This led to a crackdown and harsher punishments for influencers streaming mukbang videos involving endangered animals, as Insider previously reported.
In May 2021, a food blogger from Hainan was detained for reportedly eating an endangered sea snail, according to China Central Television.