A South Korean man has died after eating a dish he mistakenly thought contained edible bullfrog, police said Friday.
According to local reports, a group of three men visited a restaurant in March in the city of Daejeon — 164km south of capital Seoul — owned by one of their wives.
The men had caught what they believed to be bullfrogs at a reservoir two days before the incident and brought them to the restaurant for cooking. A total of five bullfrogs were used for the dish.
Immediately after finishing his meal, one of them started throwing up and was rushed to hospital for treatment after his vomiting became severe. He was pronounced dead the next morning.
Police said a forensic analysis of the meal’s leftovers revealed that it contained bufotenine – a poisonous toxin found on the skin on the back of the animals.
Bufotenine is a potent and little known hallucinogenic, which has lead from people to engage in bizarre toad licking to get high, but can lead to death if consumed in high quantities.
Consuming too much of it causes irregular heartbeat, seizures and nausea.
The deceased man’s friends suffered similar symptoms but luckily survived.
Frogs are still considered a delicacy in many part of the world like France, where consumption is restricted to the legs. In Namibia and South Korea, however, it is common to eat the entire body despite the risk of poisoning.