The Hufulou restaurant, located beside the Heidaohezi tiger reserve near the city of Hailin, had advertised stir-fried tiger meat with chilies for $98 as well as liquor flavored with tiger bone for $74 a bottle, the China Daily reported.
Raw meat was priced at $864 per kilogram.
The sale of tiger parts is illegal in China and officers shut down the restaurant, only to be told by owner, Ma Shikun, that the meat was actually that of donkeys, flavored with tiger urine to give the dish a “special” tang, the newspaper said.
The report didn’t say how the urine was obtained.
Authorities confiscated the restaurant’s profits and fined Ma $296 it said. It wasn’t clear what Ma was fined for. Selling donkey meat is not illegal in China and it is widely consumed in the northeast.
Ma had initially claimed that the meat came from dead tigers sold to him by the management of the Heidaohezi reserve, but later changed his story, the report said.
While Heidaohezi’s director denied that claim, the reserve, with about 150 tigers, has been involved in similar controversies in the past.
Until China outlawed the trade in 1993, the reserve received most of its revenue from the sale of tiger skins, bones and other body parts, which are believed by Chinese to imbue vigor and sexual prowess.