Travel presenter who ate a bat apologises amid coronavirus outbreak

Chinese travel presenter who ripped apart a BAT with her hands before eating the ‘nutritious’ dish in her show begs the public for forgiveness after being blasted amid coronavirus outbreak

  • Wang Mengyun apologised to the public over a video of her from 2016 
  • The footage shows her tearing a bat apart before putting it into her mouth
  • She praised the ‘delicious’ and ‘nutritious’ dish in the clip taken in Palau
  • She said ‘sorry’ after the episode was dug up amid coronavirus outbreak
  • Scientists fear the virus may have spread to humans from snakes or bats 

A Chinese travel presenter has apologised to the public after a video of her eating a bat in 2016 went viral amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Wang Mengyun, who has gathered a massive following through her online travel show, is seen in the programme ripping apart the animal with her hands before eating it. 

The three-year-old clip became widely shared on social media after the health crisis broke out in China, sparking an uproar from web users.

In a post last week, the globetrotter begged the public for forgiveness, calling herself ‘ignorant’. She wrote: ‘I am sorry, everyone. I should not have eaten a bat.’ 

Wang Mengyun is seen displaying a bat which she is about to eat in an old episode of her travel programme. The video, filmed in 2016, has drawn widespread criticism to her amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus which has killed at least 106 and infected some 4,590

Ms Wang has gathered a massive following through her online travel show Dream Runner. The programme is released through various social media channels, gaining her millions of fans

The controversy occurred as the province of Hubei in central China is ravaged by the novel coronavirus after it first emerged in the city of Wuhan late last month. 

The coronavirus has killed at least 106 people – all in China – and sickened more than 4,588 worldwide. 

The intensifying outbreak has led the authorities to quarantine at least 56 million people living in central China’s Hubei Province, including Wuhan, and cancel Lunar New Year festivities around the country. 

The virus, which can cause pneumonia, is poorly understood. Scientists now fear it may have spread to humans from snakes or bats. 

In the controversial episode, Ms Wang informed her audience that bats tasted like chickens and that their meat was very ‘nutritious’. She is seen holding a bat in the show filmed in Palau

The episode then shows Ms Wang pulling the bat apart with her hands. In an apology letter last week, the influential blogger wrote: ‘I am sorry, everyone. I should not have eaten a bat’

‘There are so many nutrients in it,’ Ms Wang said before putting part of the bat into her mouth 

Ms Wang started producing her travel show, Dream Runner, five years ago. 


The killer coronavirus sweeping across the world may have come from bats, scientists have said.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the People’s Liberation Army and Institut Pasteur of Shanghai came to the conclusion.

In a statement, the team said: ‘The Wuhan coronavirus’ natural host could be bats… but between bats and humans there may be an unknown intermediate.

Tests of the virus, which has yet to be named, have revealed it targets a protein called ACE2 – just like its cousin SARS, the South China Morning Post reported.

Tracing the evolution of the virus, the team of experts found it belonged to betacoronavirus, making it structurally similar to SARS.

Authorities have pointed the blame on food markets in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak that scientists are scrambling to contain.

Rodents and bats among other animals are slaughtered and sold in traditional ‘wet markets’, which tourists flock to see the ‘real’ side of the country.

The programme is released through various social media channels, including YouTube, Weibo and Douyin, gaining her millions of fans.

In 2018, Ms Wang, who was then 28, was selected as one of the 30 most successful Chinese entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by Forbes. 

The episode that drew her widespread criticism was filmed in Palau, an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean, and broadcast in 2016, Ms Wang said.

She ate bat soup in order to introduce the local lifestyle to the audience and the soup was a ‘common dish’ for the locals, the presenter explained in an apology letter posted last Wednesday.

In the viral video, Ms Wang can be seen holding what she called a fruit bat in her hand. 

She described of the soup: ‘The soup we just had was very delicious and had a fruity flavour.’

She then held the bat closer to the camera and gushed: ‘Doesn’t it look like a mini wolfdog?’

Afterwards, she informed her audience that bats tasted like chickens and that their meat was very ‘nutritious’.

At last, she started to tear the bat apart with her hands, dipped part of it in a sauce and then put it into her mouth.

‘There are so many nutrients in it,’ she said before eating the dish. 

While the video has brought her waves of criticism, some of her supporters argued that trying out new things was part of the presenter’s job. Ms Wang published an apology letter on January 22 on her Weibo account. But the post has been removed for unspecified reasons

The video was dug up by Chinese web users and shared online after the nation was rocked by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Many web users condemned Ms Wang for eating exotic animals.

One such person said: ‘Even if it is a local specialty, how could you eat it? [You] dare to eat anything.’

Another Weibo user wrote: ‘I cannot understand why she wanted to eat that.’

There were also supporters, such as one fan who argued: ‘She is a travel blogger. This is her job. Whatever you don’t recognise is not necessarily wrong.’ 

Faced with the outrage, Ms Wang published an apology letter on January 22 on her Weibo account, which is followed by 2.2 million people. However, the post has since been taken down for unspecified reasons.


  • Russia has closed its border with China in the east, in the regions of Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Khabarovsk and Amur
  • Hong Kong will halve the number of flights to mainland China and stop its high-speed rail service and ferries. It has urged citizens to return home from the mainland and stay at home for 14 days
  • Japan has declared its first case of coronavirus in someone with no connection to Wuhan
  • More than 500,000 South Koreans have signed a petition calling for travellers from China to be turned away at the border
  • Japan, South Korea and France have all planned charter flights to pull their citizens out of Wuhan later this week
  • World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he was happy with China’s efforts to contain the outbreak after visiting with politicians in Beijing yesterday. He urged the world to stay calm

In the letter, Ms Wang claimed to be a victim of online trolls following the outbreak because ‘there was not so much footage of eating wildlife online’. 

She said that the programme was recorded long before the emergence of the coronavirus and she was not aware of the risks of eating bats at the time. 

‘When I filmed the video, I honestly did not know there would be a virus. My ignorance is to blame.’

She added that the bat she ate was from a farm, not the wild, adding ‘many countries in the world eat [bat soup], it is a daily dish’. 

Ms Wang’s video appeared online at the same time videos purporting to show Chinese diners eating bat soup went viral. 

Viral footage purports to show a fashionable Chinese young woman biting one of the wings of a cooked bat at a fancy restaurant. The deadly coronavirus could come from the animal

Pictures emerging on Twitter shows soup cooked with a bat. Bats are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a series of illness, including coughing, malaria and gonorrhea

One clip appears to show a Chinese woman eating a whole bat at a fancy restaurant while another video seemly shows Cantonese-speaking diners preparing to eat soup made with the nocturnal animal. 

MailOnline cannot independently verify the clips.  

Bats are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a series of illnesses, including coughing, malaria and gonorrhea. 

The animal’s faeces is also believed to be able to cure eye diseases, according to ancient Chinese medical masterpiece Ben Cao Gang Mu. 

The deadly Chinese coronavirus outbreak began at a wholesale animal market in Wuhan city, experts have confirmed.

Scientists from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said tests proved humans caught it from animals at the Huanan Seafood Wholesales Market.

It is not clear which animal was carrying the pneumonia-like illness but the market was home to stalls trading dozens of different species, including rats and wolf cubs.

The coronavirus epidemic has killed at least 106 people – all in China – and sickened more than 4,585 worldwide as of today. In the picture above, a medical worker (right) rests in a chair next to a patient at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province on January 23

The intensifying health crisis has led the authorities to quarantine at least 56 million people living in central China’s Hubei Province. In the picture above, people wearing face masks to avoid the disease queue to take a taxi at the Beijing railway station on January 27

China’s central government has sent around 6,000 doctors to Wuhan from across the nation to help the city deal with the outbreak. In the picture above, a medical worker attends to a patient in the intensive care unit at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan on January 24

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