| Last updated
A Chinese YouTuber has apologised to the public after a video of her eating a bat in 2016 circulated online when the coronavirus outbreak started.
Wang Mengyun has a huge following online and in one video, where she visits Palau in the Micronesia region, she can be seen ripping the winged animal apart with her hands before picking bits off to eat.
The clip has been shared since some scientists revealed that they thought the crisis began after the disease was passed to humans from either bats or snakes, with all eyes on the Wuhan Seafood Market as the virus' 'ground zero'.
In the video, while eating the soup, she says: "The soup we just had was very delicious and had a fruity flavour.
Holding the bat closer to the camera she said: "Doesn't it look like a mini wolfdog?"
Before eating the dish she stops and says: "There are so many nutrients in it."
In a post on Chinese social media site Weibo last week, that has since been deleted, the woman asked the public for forgiveness after the three-year-old video became famous.
She wrote: "Sorry everyone, I shouldn't eat bats," before describing some of the hate mail she's received.
Wang said some of the negative comments included: "You should go to hell. You should be killed in the evening. You're abnormal. You're disgusting. Why haven't you died."
She added: "It's all because in 2016, when I was screening a tour programme in Palau, a south Pacific island, I ate a soup of local people's daily food.
"Back in May 2016, I didn't know what the virus was at that time. When the video was released, I only want to introduce the lifestyle of the local people."
The island of Palau has a significant number of Chinese and Korean citizens, and takes much of its culture from a fusion of Asian countries, many of which are known to eat bat soup. The dish is thought to have medicinal qualities in countries such as Cambodia.
The post continues: "Here are some special points I want to make:
"1. The video was shot in 2016 and released during 2016-2017. Recently it was turned over by some accounts sponging off the heat and fanning out malicious panic.
"2. When shooting the video, I really didn't know there was a virus. I didn't know until recently.
"3. In the video, fruit bats are raised by local people, not wild ones. Many countries around the world eat this. It's a daily dish in many countries, but it's also a bat, can't argue with that."
Scientists in the region have suggested that the new coronavirus stemmed from the Wuhan Seafood Market, where everything from snakes, rats, beavers, wolf cubs and even 'tree bears' were reportedly on sale. The World Health Organisation has now upgraded the risk of the infection spreading to 'high' worldwide.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read