On Wednesday afternoon, a Weibo user uploaded pictures of some Class II protected species stuffed inside jars of liquor, asking if perhaps this might need some looking into.
The post spread quickly, freaking the hell out of netizens across China with images of pale-eyed, alcohol-infused owls staring blankly out at them. Many called for quick and severe punishment for whomever was responsible.
According to Sina, a Sichuan-based journalist followed up on the post, getting the contact details of the seller and calling him up. In what must have been a true shocker, he was from Guangzhou. The TCM merchant named Li admitted to selling the 5kg jars of “owl wine” and said that it could be used to cure headaches and pain in the joints.
“The owls are all soaked alive. They are submerged inside and choke on the alcohol, that way they are infused inside and out, making the medicine more effective,” Li explained.
When the journalist asked about acquiring some of Li’s special product for himself, the seller was reluctant to ship all the way to Sichuan and canceled the deal.
A professor from the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine told the reporter that this was probably not the best method prescribed by TCM of combating rheumatism. Since owls are under second class protection in China, they should not be drowned alive in baijiu.
However, if you are under some serious distress, a jar of liquor infused with owl AND snake might just be exactly what the (quack) doctor ordered:
[Images via Sina]