China Cops Busted Feasting on Giant Salamander Endangered species on the menu at gathering of officials By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jan 28, 2015 11:55 AM CST 15 comments Comments Giant salamanders on display at a restaurant in China. (Wikimedia Commons/Micromesistius) (Newser) – A group of police officers in southern China lived up to negative stereotypes about both their country and their profession by allegedly dining on a critically endangered animal and beating up journalists who sneaked into the restaurant. According to local media in Shenzhen, senior public security officials were at a lavish banquet that included a giant salamander, a protected wildlife species that can grow to be around 6 feet long, the BBC reports. Authorities are investigating the incident and 14 policemen have reportedly been suspended. Two reporters who had made their way into the restaurant where officials were gathered say they were punched and slapped when their identities became known, and a photographer who accompanied them says his camera was smashed. The incident comes amid a government crackdown on corruption and extravagant spending by government officials, which uses the slogan "four dishes and one soup," reports the New York Times.