Hong Kong’s wild boar dilemma within the Chinese Year of the Pig

HONG KONG (Reuters) – One belonging to the world’s most densely populated cities, Hong Kong, is facing a proliferation of untamed boars as the large mammals stray increasingly into built-up areas.

And even though some residents welcome sightings of one’s boars as a symbol of good luck, especially with the arrival of the Chinese Lunar Year within the Pig on Tuesday, others say reports of attacks indicate that the wild pigs are receiving a danger.

The global financial hub isn’t respected for its biodiversity, however with 40 percent from the land area made from protected country parks and reserves, still it harbors creatures like boar, barking deer, porcupine, otters, threatened pangolins, giant Burmese pythons and more than 530 species of bird, some highly endangered.

Continued urbanization of the city of 7.4 million is now increasingly drawing droves of wild boar to the teeming metropolis’ fringes. Boar have charged down hikers, raided rubbish tips and camp sites, and even scampered from a shopping mall together with a runway inside the airport.

“Most Hong Kong wild boars, now, have already lost their concern about humans”, said Roni Wong, associated with a community group campaigning to your protection of untamed boars.

“The cause of it really is feeding, which then causes them to lose their natural instincts”, added Wong which has identified numerous spots where residents feed wildlife in violation of local wildlife protection laws.

The habituation of boars to humans has taken some safety concerns. Complaints against wild pigs have an overabundance of than doubled since 2019, with 700 incidents reported in 2019, including some attacks on people.

“The vast majority of residents who useful to take part in outdoor leisure activities, especially in the dark, are no longer doing that”, said Jeremy Young, an area councillor for the Peak, an affluent area which has a conspicuous boar population inside the woods.

“There’re scared. You don’t like to run into a 250 pound (113 kilogram) male pig with tusks.”

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said within a statement to Reuters that some pigs “pose imminent risks to public safety, specially those which have attacked people, or are familiar with searching for food around built-up areas and in addition getting easily irritated.”

Young believes the us govenment should once more allow the selective culling of boars by “civilian hunting teams” to mitigate the porcine threat, an exercise that was suspended in 2019 after an outcry by animal rights groups.

The AFCD, however, rejected this proposal.

Instead, it said it would take measures position down, or relocate troublesome pigs to wilder areas, also to fit some with GPS trackers.

Authorities say they don’t are aware of the size of Hong Kong’s wild pig population, nor whether numbers have actually increased or whether they’re just venturing more reguarily into urban areas.

“Most Hongkongers won’t mind the wild boars,” said 40-year-old taxi driver Water Siu, after that a boar interrupted his Sunday barbecue during the Aberdeen country park.

“The reality is, we see them as our neighbors.”