Chinese Influencer Faces Up To 5 Years In Jail For Eating A Baby Shark On Livestream

Great white sharks are considered a vulnerable species and are protected in China.

Cover image via LADbible & @thetimes (Twitter)

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A Chinese Internet celebrity is currently facing legal action for live streaming herself eating a young great white shark

According to NextShark, on 14 July, a Chinese food vlogger known as Tizi, filmed herself boiling the top half of the shark in a spicy broth and barbecuing the other half with chilli sauce.

She ate some of the shark's tail and described it as 'yummy' and 'tender'. The shark was then shared with some villagers who were in Tizi's video.

She was even pictured laying next to the 50kg, two-metre long carcass before it was cooked.

Viewers have allegedly reported her video to the police in Nanchong, Sichuan and probed them to look into what was described as a 'disgusting' video. The police have since confirmed that she did indeed eat a great white shark.

The video of Tizi consuming the shark has since been removed at the time of writing.

Tizi barbecuing the tail of the shark.

Image via Mothership

This isn't the first time Tizi has been reported to be cooking and eating rare and exotic animals for her live shows

Tizi's claim to fame is that she portrays a sweet and cute demeanour while she consumes outrageous and unconventional foods on camera. Her videos have garnered her millions of followers on Chinese social media platforms, Douyin and Kuaishou.

She has allegedly consumed giant salamanders, crocodiles, ostriches, and even peacocks on her livestreams before, drawing the attention of millions of netizens along with plenty of controversy.

Tizi claims that she procured the shark legally through JD.com, China's largest online retailer. She also mentioned that the shark was bred in captivity for the purpose of human consumption. Therefore, what she did was not wrong or against the law.

She is currently looking for a lawyer to represent her as she believes the backlash and accusations levelled against her are 'nonsense'.

Tizi preparing to cook a salamander.

Image via @somsuk_lukkamoi (TikTok)

Tizi holding a crocodile.

Image via The Joi

The Nanchong Agriculture and Rural Bureau has also launched an investigation against Tizi and the people who supplied her with the shark

According to Global Times, officials from the bureau have reported that Tizi's claims of legally procuring the shark from JD.com to be untrue, and will release more information regarding the matter at a later date.

Chang Yachu, a lawyer from Beijing Kangda Law Firm, confirmed that if Tizi is found guilty of illegally purchasing endangered wildlife products, she could face up to five years in prison, or be slapped with criminal detention and a hefty fine. Chang added that the severity of the penalty depends on the value of the shark when it was first purchased.

The great white shark is classified as a vulnerable species and its numbers are declining year after year

Our Endangered World reports that there are approximately fewer than 3,500 great white sharks in the wild.

The main reason for the plummeting numbers of sharks is commercial fishing. They are fished and hunted for their fins, teeth, jaws, and meat, amongst other parts. Great white sharks are also slow to sexually mature and be ready to produce offspring. A male great white takes 26 years to reach sexual maturity, and a female takes 33 years.

The great white shark is currently under the protection of several countries, such as South Africa, Namibia, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Malta, and China.

A great white shark.

Image via WIRED

In 2020, China banned the buying, selling, and eating of wild animals after the practice was linked to the COVID-19 pandemic:

However, endangered animals continue to be hunted and exploited all around the world: