CALEXICO, Calif. - The owner of the Chinese food restaurant, Yum Yum, is speaking out after being fined for storing wildlife in his freezer.
Louis Wong was featured on the front page of a local newspaper in Imperial Valley and is now speaking to News 11 to tell us his side of the story.
“I have to pay a fine for $220 dollars and I admit that I mess it up, I didn't know the law, now I understand fully about the law,” said Louis Wong, President of Yum Yum Chinese Food Inc.
Mr. Wong has been an Imperial County resident since 1974 and is well known within the community.
The Yum Yum Restaurant opened its doors in 1989.
When we visited today, customers were shocked by what they saw on the front page of the local newspaper.
“We were a little shocked that it made front page news in the local paper, but you know what everybody's got to do what they have to do. It’s not that it’s not a big issue because for wildlife it is. We have to see it as a learning experience, but I don’t fault Mr. Wong at all, I don't fault the press at all, it’s just one of those things, it’s a slow hot summer. We have to have some news, don't we,” exclaimed Hildy Carrillo, Executive Director, Calexico
According to The Imperial Valley Press, Wong had stored a 24 inch shark, 10 ducks shot by a shotgun with no feathers, three whole Bluefin tuna and various other fish and wildlife.
It is illegal to store fish or wildlife in the restaurant for customers, but Wong said he was simply doing a favor for a friend.
It is legal for customers to take fish and wildlife and have it prepared the same day, but not to store it.
Wong says he now knows better.
“Law is law, I messed it up, and now I have all the information, I’m going to move forward to serve the community and everybody knows that I love this community, added Wong.
We did reach out to fish and wildlife for a comment but they have yet to get back to us.
Mr. Wong will be making a contribution to the Humane Society of Imperial County and will be under a conditional plea for one year.