SEOUL A South Korean environmental group is appealing to Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung, who said he used to drink juice made from boiled frogs to build his physique, to help it protect the amphibians from a surge in consumption.
Lobby group "Frogs Friends" said that consumption of frog juice had surged since Park's 2006 autobiography in which he said he had drunk it as a tonic, and said they would lobby the international and Premier League star to join their campaign.
"I do not know if it is just coincidence but after it was revealed... that Park eats frogs as a means to boost his strength, the number of cases of illegal poaching of frogs and toads residing in mountains has increased," campaign organiser Park Wan-hee was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.
Since its establishment in 2007, Frog's Friends has been campaigning to stop Koreans killing amphibians for perceived health properties.
Park is South Korea's best known soccer player and said that his father had fed him frog juice to boost his stamina.
"If Park joins our campaign to stop the practice, it would correct people's misperceptions about eating frogs, believing it will raise their stamina," said the lobby group.
(Reporting by Jinkyu Kang; Editing by David Chance and Ossian Shine)