Chinese authorities probe endangered pangolin banquet

2017-02-09 19:33
A pangolin, curls into a ball as a Natural Resources Conservation Agency  official holds it up before releasing it into the wild at a conservation forest in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. (Jefri Tarigan, AP/File)

A pangolin, curls into a ball as a Natural Resources Conservation Agency official holds it up before releasing it into the wild at a conservation forest in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. (Jefri Tarigan, AP/File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing – Chinese authorities are investigating a banquet where government officials may have feasted on endangered pangolins, considered the most trafficked mammal on earth, after posts about the meal drew outrage on social media.

The animal's brown scales are made of nothing more than keratin – the same substance as fingernails – but are highly prized in Vietnam and China where they are misleadingly touted as bearing medicinal properties.

Police are investigating whether the "scaly anteater" was indeed consumed at a banquet in the southern province of Guangxi, the Xinhua state news agency reported late on Tuesday.

A viral post on the Chinese social media site Weibo claimed that Guangxi officials invited investors to eat the animal, which is listed as threatened to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Several photos showed an abundant feast, along with the user's observation: "It was my first time eating [pangolin]...I've already fallen deeply for the wild taste!"

Most-hunted animal

In China, the pangolin is under state protection. Eating it is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

A World Wildlife Fund survey published in September found a reduced market for pangolin meat in the country. But the scales continue to be illegally sold.

"These days the quality that stands out most in our officials is wickedness," one Weibo user said about the banquet incident.

"This is how they will become extinct," another said. "Shame!"

The Guangxi Investment Promotion Agency was initially suspected of hosting the banquet, but a regional disciplinary commission cleared the organisation of any wrongdoing.

The commission told Xinhua that only officials attended the private event.

The pangolin is the most-hunted animal in the world and an estimated one million have been plucked from Asian and African forests over the past decade.

Read more on:    china  |  conservation  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

12 Cool cat facts

Here are some surprising things you may not know about your fascinating feline

 
 

Paws

Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.