Chinese netizens hail food vlogger being detained for eating nationally protected animal
Published: May 12, 2021 11:18 AM
Screenshot of the vlogger's video from Sina Weibo

Screenshot of the vlogger's video from Sina Weibo


A food vlogger from South China's Hainan Province was detained after eating China's national second-class protected animal—Triton's Trumpet.

Local police in Tanmen in Qionghai city, Hainan, were tipped off last Friday that a Sina Weibo blogger had filmed and uploaded a video of him eating China's national second-class protected animal, Triton's Trumpet, a very large marine snail also known as a giant triton, to several social media platforms including Weibo, Douyin and Bilibili.

After investigation, the police soon found that the 35-year-old food vlogger surnamed Zou from Changjiang, Hainan, is a chef. Another man surnamed Wu from East China's Fujian Province purchased the sea snail that Zou cooked and ate.

According to the Hainan police's official Weibo account, Wu purchased the 15-centimeter-long orange giant triton for 70 yuan ($10.89) from another man surnamed Fu, also from Qionghai on April 26. Wu gave the sea snail to his friend Zou as a gift and Zou cooked the snail the next day.

With help from his friend, Zou filmed the eating video and uploaded it to social networking platforms.

Last Saturday, the three suspects, Wu, Zou and Fu, suspected of endangering rare and endangered wildlife animals, were detained in accordance with the law. Further investigation into the case is undergoing.

The case stirred a heated discussion on Chinese twitter-like Sina Weibo with many internet users criticizing the vlogger's actions.

A netizen popularized knowledge about Triton's Trumpet, saying the sea snail is the natural enemy of the crown-of-thorns starfish which feeds on coral, and protecting the sea snail involves protecting the coral reefs.

A thorough ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals has become a consensus in Chinese society in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. China's legislative body announced on February 24, 2020 a ban on the consumption of wild animals and illegal wildlife trade in an all-round way. 

China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration released in this February the amended National List of Protected Wild Animals which includes a total of 980 species and eight classes of wild animals.

Some Weibo users pointed out that the giant triton was added to the amended list and it is necessary to popularize the new list to prevent such cases from happening again.

"Although the legislation, law enforcement and management of wildlife protection have been established and improved in China, there is still room to make more efforts," Shi Kun, director of the Wildlife Research Institute of Beijing Forestry University, told the Global Times on Wednesday, adding that the consciousness of wildlife protection has not been popularized in some parts of the country, so it is necessary to work out some type of reward system.