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A Chinese food blogger has been fined nearly $19,000 after filming herself grilling and eating a great white shark.
The content creator, who’s known online as Tizi, was identified by officials as Jin Moumou. According to a statement from officials in Nanchong, China, she was hit with a 125,000 yuan ($18,522) fine for illegally purchasing and eating a wild animal.
Jin reportedly purchased the six-foot great white shark in April 2022, the statement said. However, the controversy came to light in July, when filmed herself preparing and eating the wild animal.
The video was in violation of the “Wild Animal Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China.” Illegal possession of a white shark can also lead to a prison term of between five to 10 years.
In the clip, which was posted to social media sites Douyin and Kuaishou, the food blogger can be seen posing with the apex predator, after illegally buying it. The shark is then sliced in half, marinated and barbecued, while the head is cooked in a broth.
“It may look vicious, but its meat is truly very tender,” Jin exclaimed in the viral video, as she tore off large chunks of the animal’s barbecued meat, before devouring it.
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She initially claimed to have bought the shark at a Nanchong shop, but it was actually purchased for 7,700 yuan ($1,141) on the Alibaba-owned shopping site Taobao.
DNA tests from tissue remnants identified the illicit meat as a great white. Authorities have since arrested two people involved in catching and purveying the shark for Jin.
Police started investigating the food blogger in August last year, after her video sparked widespread backlash. Jin had claimed that she had bought the great white shark legally, and said she was looking for a lawyer.
This is not the first time a content creator has been fined for illegally purchasing and eating a wild animal. Previously, a YouTuber faced a fine of up to $13,800 after filming herself eating a protected bat species.