http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/aussie-diplomat-sorry-for-cambodian-turtle-soup-meal/article/578086

Aussie diplomat sorry for Cambodian turtle soup meal

Posted Sep 16, 2020 by AFP
Australia's ambassador to Cambodia has apologised for eating a dish containing softshell turtle, which are highly protected in parts of the world.
Turtles are frequently eaten in Cambodia  but the Australian ambassador to the country has apologise...
Turtles are frequently eaten in Cambodia, but the Australian ambassador to the country has apologised after posting pictures of him being served the dish
TANG CHHIN Sothy, AFP/File

Australia's ambassador to Cambodia has apologised for eating a dish containing softshell turtle, which are highly protected in parts of the world.

Ambassador Pablo Kang shared an image earlier this month of a bowl containing cooked turtle his party consumed during a visit to rural Pailin, but deleted the tweet after drawing criticism online.

"I have removed my tweet about softshell turtles and eels, and apologise to all those who took offence," Kang tweeted on Tuesday.

The ambassador's culinary faux pas stirred little interest inside Cambodia -- where one particular softshell turtle species can be legally farmed and sold for food.

The meat is often made into a soup that is a particularly popular delicacy in capital Phnom Penh.

But many other species of softshell are considered critically endangered around the world, and the pictures drew the wrath of online critics.

The Australian embassy told local outlet VOD, the dish had been offered as an official meal and the ambassador was assured the turtle had been farmed, and not from the wild.

"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," Kang said.

"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 future."