TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The novel coronavirus outbreak has not deterred the demand for bat and snake meats at the Tomohon market in North Sulawesi despite news of the aforementioned animals being closely incriminated in the virus’ viral transmission.
The constant strong demands for Tomohon’s bat meat market was attested by one of the traders there, Ferry Parengkuan (55), who refused to back down from selling the meat despite what has happened in China’s province of Wuhan.
“There were warnings to stop selling the meat, but customers keep on coming to buy it,” said Ferry who has sold bat and snake meats for 32 years.
The trader also claims to be unafraid about the information that animals he sells are believed to have spread the new virus. Within one week, he is able to sell up to 100-kilograms of python meat that is sourced from a supplier in Central Sulawesi and South Sulawesi.
Another Tomohon bat meat trader, Michael, said the recent 70 percent drop in buyers for the past few weeks cannot be attributed to the fear of coronavirus.
“I might argue that the drop in sales is not due to coronavirus, but more because of Christmas and New Year’s Day,” said Michael who sells bat meat at an affordable price of Rp60,000/kilogram.
The extremism in the Tomohon market can be seen by the unique varieties of meat that are available such as; dogmeat, cats, rodents, snakes, and more. This market has always attracted tourists from China but was no longer visited by the Chinese ever since the Wuhan Virus outbreak.