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Koala Wonton Soup?
A Rumour File contributor sent in a photo to Ross and John of a Koala trapped in a cage in Guangdong Province, China this morning.
The caller said that koalas in Guangdong are illegally prepared for food along with other unusual critters like marmits.
However, the operation is by no means discrete as the koalas are openly displayed in street markets with price tags.
Towards the end of the program, another caller contended that the the caged animals aren't actually koalas, but an Asian 'Tree bear' of some type.
PLAY: Caller tells Ross and John what he saw in Guangdong Province, China
Is this a koala or not?
I'm in Chinese community news, and we investigated the matter. Our local team located the Restaurant and talked to the general manager, Ms Lin. The general manager has confirmed the sign does belong to their establishment and the animal in the picture was at one stage available for order. BUT, however, she is certain it was not a koala, she said the restaurant has never sold, nor could possibly sell koala "It (the koala) is a national treasure, how could we possible eat such a thing, and for such a cheap price!"
Their procurement manager, Mr Wang, explained the animal in the cage was a Chinese Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys sinensis). The animal was bought from a farm in Guangxi, bred specifically for consumption. He says the animals are about 5 or six kilos each, and carry a wholesale price of 40 odd Yuan (~5 AUD) a kilo.
He further explained why "koala" appeared on the sign. He said that the animals came with a delivery slip printed "tree bear" and Google Translate gave him the translation "koalas", "It never occurred to me that 'tree bear' could mean koala" said Mr Wang.
"Tree bear" is the term commonly used to refer to koala in Hong Kong and Macau. In mainland China Koala is referred to as "kao lai".Stuart Yuen Thursday 3 November, 2011 - 11:40 AM
Koala .... what koala? If that's a koala then I'm a camel. Take a look at the shape of the creature's head and overall body structure. But no matter what it is - the practice that it has become a part of is somewhat cruel, but then again no different than going into a top shelf restaurant here in Aust and choosing which live lobster you want prepared for your dinner.Peter Wednesday 2 November, 2011 - 10:57 AM
Does it matter, this is cruel.maggs Wednesday 2 November, 2011 - 7:02 AM
Have a look at the carrot, it's either a humongous carrot or then the "koala" is a midget.Ed Tuesday 1 November, 2011 - 11:35 PM
How much can a Koala-Bear?We are used to seeing these cute guys feasting on gum leaves.And now caged and ready for the pot...Bloody cruel l think.kathy Tuesday 1 November, 2011 - 11:01 PM
Kangaroos, crocodiles and emus are eaten in Australia, yes. But they are not threatened like the Koala is. Kangaroos need to be culled as they have reached plague proportions and they are the most sustainable meat available in Australia. The crocodiles and emus that are consumed are farmed for that purpose and cared for in a much better manner than that koala!Scott Tuesday 1 November, 2011 - 5:59 PM