A tortoise was spared by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) from becoming part of a Chinese man’s lunch last week Thursday in Bloemfontein.
According to the senior inspector at the SPCA’s Bloemfontein branch, Rinette Meyer, the centre received a tip-off that the business owned by Chinese citizens was keeping a tortoise hostage at the back of its premises. Upon arrival at the premises to investigate, Meyer says she and her team found the tortoise on premises with no food nor water.
The Chinese man was then asked why he was keeping the tortoise and Meyer says “he admitted in his own words that he was going to eat the tortoise”. The tortoise was then confiscated and the man received a written warning for the two offences, the first being that he kept the animal in his possession and did not provide food or water for it, the second being that he kept the tortoise, which is considered a wild animal in South Africa, without the necessary permit or licence.
The incident sparked outrage and xenophobic comments about Chinese nationals, with many saying they are killing all the animals in South Africa for their food consumption. The SPCA confirms that following the incident, the reptile has since been released back into the wild.
Here is the thread from SPCA Bloemfontein’s Facebook post: