Hong Kong government cracks down on wild boars in the city

A wild boar walks down the street in central Hong Kong.
A wild boar walks down the street in central Hong Kong. © Observers

Wild boars are becoming a more and more common sight in the streets of Hong Kong. The creatures, which have adapted quickly to the urban environment, are the targets of a new government policy aimed at trapping and killing them. However, some aid groups think the city's residents should find a peaceful way to coexist with the boars.

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People have been sharing photos and videos online showing wild boars strolling through the streets – and even in the subway – of Hong Kong. The animals have been slowly adapting and moving into the city's more urban environments from their usual habitat in the forests and mountains surrounding the city. 

But on November 9, a police officer was bitten by a wounded boar and had to be hospitalised. Surveillance footage of the attack was shared widely, instigating a debate on how to manage the boar problem.

The attack came amid increasing incidents with boars in Hong Kong. The number of complaints about wild boars filed in 2018, for example, was three times the number in 2013. 

On November 12, the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced their plan to manage the wild boar population through trapping and killing, as opposed to the previous policy where authorities would capture, sterilise and release boars who had wandered into urban areas. 

Associations and animal rights organisations have responded to the policy with outrage. Some of them came together to publish an open letter calling on the government to end this policy. They proposed alternatives such as sterilisation of boars as well as education and policies to help the public avoid conflicts with the creatures. 

>> Read more on The Observers: Hong Kong government clamps down on... the city’s wild boars