Lifestyle & Belief

"Braised Koala" on the menu at restaurant in southern China


Sydney Wildlife World's new baby joey koala, 'Boonda,' clings to its mother 'Elle' on June 28, 2011. Koalas are under threat due to a shortage of suitable habitat from mass land clearance.



An Australian man visiting China made a "horrifying" discovery at a restaurant in the southern city of Guangzhou: a caged live koala, on sale and available "braised or stewed." 

The unnamed man snapped a photo of the koala, which was selling for 139 yuan ($22) per 500 grams, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The koala had a carrot next to it in the cage.

The restaurant, in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, reportedly had other live exotic animals on offer to diners.

Southern Chinese are renowned for their diverse diets, and are said to eat anything with legs except a table, anything that flies except an airplane, and anything that swims except a submarine.

The Australian man's colleague told a Melbourne radio station that he was shocked to be given the option of eating one of his country's iconic animals.

Another caller to the radio station suggested the animal might actually have been a variety of "tree bear," but the men were convinced it had been a koala.

The website Shanghaiist also expressed doubt that the animal was a koala, saying "it might instead be an old-fashioned case of Guangzhou flimflammery, since the "koala" in question is going for the meager price of 139RMB. Surely underselling one of the bestselling trinket animals of all-time, no?"

More from GlobalPost: China bans ancient dog-eating festival after online uproar