Chinese travel show host apologises for eating a bat on camera in 2016 in wake of Wuhan virus

The apology post has since been taken down.

Kayla Wong | January 26, 2020, 03:07 PM

A Chinese travel show host, who was criticised widely for eating a bat back in a 2016 video, has since apologised for her actions, Duowei News reported.

Meat tasted good

In the video shot a few years back, Wang, who was with another host, could be seen holding up the bat, with its wings stretched out.

She said: "This is a fruit bat, so the soup is fresh and aromatic, and smells faintly of fruit."

"Bat meat is tender like chicken meat, and is full of nutrients, now let's tear it apart."

After the pair showed the camera the bat's insides, they proceeded to eat it.

Wang remarked that the meat was very "tight", but "smelled good".

Unaware that bats could transmit viruses

Wang claimed in a Wednesday, Jan. 22 Weibo post that she did not know any better when she shot the video in Palau for a travel show segment.

She said she was unclear as to what a virus is, and was also unaware that bats could be carriers of viruses.

She added that her only thought at that time was to introduce the local people's way of living on the show.

Wang also said the bat she ate in the video was a fruit bat that were kept by the locals, and was not wild.

Lastly, she apologised for her past ignorance, and said she would set an example from now on by taking a stance against the consumption of wild animals.

However, the apology post could no longer be found on Wang's page.

According to Palau Dive Adventures, fruit bat soup is a local dish that can be found in many parts of Micronesia, where Palau is located.

Dragged online

Despite her apology, Wang continued to receive backlash from some commenters.

Screengrab via Weibo

"People who eat bats are too scary. Even if its a local dish, you still ate it. You don't have an ounce of kindness in you for daring to eat anything."

Screengrab via Weibo

"This is too disgusting, regardless of whether the bat is poisonous or not, you're mental for eating it. What local delicacy? The wild animals that the people in Wuhan ate are also local delicacies, are they not wrong?"

Screengrab via Weibo

"The video was shot in 2016, but we've already been warned since the outbreak of SARS in 2003 not to eat wild animals. She said this took place overseas, but her behaviour will influence others to think that bats are appealing, so this will generate negativity on a certain level. Also, the country she went to does not recognise "one China" (Palau is still the diplomatic ally of Taiwan)."

Screengrab via Weibo

"She already took down her Jan. 22 apology. I think this blogger should be cancelled."

Supportive comments

However, quite a number of commenters supported her as they thought she was unfairly criticised.

Screengrab via Weibo

"You poor thing. Just for introducing a Palau delicacy in 2016, you were dragged online for so many days by a bunch of horrible people."

Screengrab via Weibo

"Keyboard warriors, stop using your foolish and ignorant ways to hurt someone else."

Screengrab via Weibo

"The bat in the video was a fruit bat. The locals in Palau rear those for food. They are not wild, and is a local, everyday dish. While eating bat is not to be followed, actual situation had to be taken into account. She was doing a travel show, which required her to visit the local attractions of every place. While your intention behind objecting to the eating of wild life is good, hunting down innocent people and being out for their blood betray your original intention. Put yourself in her shoes, are you the one who's a travel show host?"

Uncertain if bats caused outbreak of virus

It was recently revealed that the novel coronavirus shares a common ancestor with SARS, which is a virus that can be found in fruit bats.

However, it is uncertain if the virus that caused the outbreak in Wuhan originated from bats specifically.

The link between the virus and wild animals, however, has been confirmed by Gao Fu, the director general of China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The coronavirus that caused SARS first originated in horseshoe bats, and subsequently made its way to small mammals like civets, which humans consumed.

As for the novel coronavirus, there is still an unknown intermediate between bats and humans.

There are hints it could be snakes.

More bat videos circulating around

Since the potential link between the virus and bats was revealed, several video clips and pictures of Chinese people eating bat and various live animals have been circulated online.

Top image via Miaopai & Wang Mengyun/Weibo