A Chinese investment conglomerate has sacked the vice-president of one of its subsidiaries after the man posted photos of himself eating dishes containing protected animals while on holiday, a report has said. Shen Jianping, vice-president of Yintai in77, a luxury retail company based in the Hubin district of Hangzhou, posted photos from his personal account on Weibo, China’s Twitter, last Friday of him eating pangolin and civet while in Vietnam, reported ThePaper.cn on Sunday. “The best was the pangolin blood fried rice!” Shen wrote, sending the post from the coastal tourist city of Da Nang, it stated. Chinese man’s grisly online joke about eating endangered species earns him 5 days’ detention The statement by the Beijing-based Yintai group announcing his dismissal was released on Sunday. Pangolins, the scaly brown eaters of termites and ants indigenous to Africa and Asia, are nearing extinction. They are among the world’s most trafficked animals, prized by some for their meat and supposed medicinal properties. Similarly, the small nocturnal mammal the civet is an endangered species. Both species are protected in Vietnam and China. Indonesian pangolin, a prized delicacy in China, faces extinction due to trafficking After drawing criticism online, Shen apologised on Weibo, according to ThePaper, saying he thought the animals were legal to eat in Vietnam. Shen also apologised for the poor publicity it brought his company’s parent organisation, the Yintai group, and said he would accept responsibility for his actions. Pangolin smugglers find new routes, evade customs despite global ban In the company’s statement on Sunday, on Weibo, it denounced Shen’s actions and said it had dismissed him for violating company rules. It also said it would add environmental education courses to its staff training, and thanked the media for its criticism, expressing hope that “strict oversight” of the company would continue.