In which the shark won

Published: Monday 15 December 1997

it was a case of a shark escaping from the jaws of human "cruelty". A restaurant owner in Hong Kong is facing charges of animal cruelty after a 2.6-metre female shark was rescued from a fish tank a day before it was to be served to customers. The Lie Garden Restaurant in Mangkok had paid between us $1,950 and 2,600 for the eight-year-old nurse shark and had launched a massive publicity campaign including invitations to the media. Some reporters sought the comments of the agriculture and fisheries department.

Consequently, four inspectors of the department arrived at the restaurant with a mobile fish tank and took the fish away. Inspector Howard Wong Kai-hay said the fish was in a "pretty unhealthy" state. "The shark only had eight cms in which to move," he said, describing the tank as a coffin. However, a restaurant spokesperson claimed they had sought the officials for guidelines for keeping sharks but did not receive any. "There are no written laws for this type of thing. But the law provides for cruelty proceedings if the animal goes through unnecessary suffering," said Wong.

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