September 17, 2020 10:31:09 am
Pablo Kang, Australian ambassador to Cambodia, stirred up a storm on social media after he shared a picture of himself eating a meal that contained soft-shell turtles, a species which are endangered in many parts of the world.
In a post shared on September 10, Kang shared two pictures of a meal he had eaten during an official visit. “Offered some of these local #Pailin delicacies last night — eel soup and soft-shell turtle,” his tweet read.
The ambassador drew widespread condemnation from Twitterati across the world, who accused him of eating an endangered species and encouraging illegal wildlife trade.
Kang ultimately deleted his tweet and apologised to his followers for disrespecting sentiments.
“Hello. I have removed my tweet about soft-shell turtles & eels, and apologise to all those who took offence,” he tweeted. “My intent was not to promote these dishes, but to tell people about some of the foods I was offered during my recent provincial visit.”
Hello. I have removed my tweet about soft shell turtles & eels, and apologise to all those who took offence. My intent was not to promote these dishes, but to tell people about some of the foods I was offered during my recent provincial visit. 1/2
— Pablo Kang 🇦🇺🇰🇭 (@AusEmbPP) September 15, 2020
“I certainly do not condone the harvesting of any endangered species for food or other purposes and will be more careful about my actions in the future,” he added.
The Australian Embassy told local media outlet VOD that the dish had been offered to Kang by the people of rural Pailin during an official visit and they had assured him that it had not been hunted from the wild, news agency AFP reported.
One particular species of soft-shell turtle is legally farmed and sold for food in Cambodia. In fact, the meat of the turtle is used to make soup, which is a particularly popular dish in the country’s capital Phnom Penh, according to the AFP report.
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