Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Wild Boars in the City

One of the wild boars wandering around Hong Kong Park...
When you're walking the streets of Hong Kong, beware of wild boars!

Last week there were two boars incidents above Admiralty, with one wandering outside the Conrad Hong Kong before disappearing into the trees, and the other spotted two days later nearby in Hong Kong Park. That one was tranquilized and returned to the wild.

.... another was scampering around the Conrad Hong Kong
These wild boars have also been seen in shopping malls, housing estates and theme parks across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

"They're very funny animals.... whenever there is change, they just don't want to be there," says Dr Gary Ades, head of fauna conservation at the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden near Taipo.

"They create these beautiful animal highways in the dirt, which they use to get around, but the moment a new tree is planted nearby there is confusion."

Some theories as to why they are wandering closer to urban areas could be because people are feeding them, which is illegal, or the drier winters make it harder for pigs to unearth worms that they feed on.

A boar trapped in a children's clothing store in a mall last May
Whenever there are rainstorms, the wild boars have an increased risk of falling into storm drains, and may end up out on the coast.

Ades says with more rural development, there is a higher chance of conflicts between boars and humans.

So if you see a wild boar running around your neighbourhood, don't feed it, but report it to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (call 1823) so that they can hopefully contain the situation as soon as possible.

They're not too dangerous, but they are wild animals...

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