Hong Kong launches wild boar hunt as animal attacks lead to crackdown 

HONG KONG — They’ve taken subway rides, loitered at pedestrian crossings and been fed by native residents. Nonetheless now wild boars have lastly gone a step too far for authorities in Hong Kong.

Rising incidents involving the animals, which have prolonged roamed the hills and mountaineering trails surrounding the bustling metropolis, culminated in a single biting a police officer closing week.

In response, authorities inside the Asian financial hub are cracking down.

Officers said they launched the boar hunt Wednesday night time time with an operation that captured and euthanized seven wild boars in an area decrease than half an hour’s drive from the city coronary heart.

The selection to make use of medication injections for the “humane dispatch” of the animals marks a shift from earlier protection, which was to grab, neuter and relocate them to distant areas.

Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Division (AFCD) said in a press launch that the sooner methodology had did not “efficiently administration the wild pig nuisance.” 

The number of accidents involving boars has been on the rise in current instances, the assertion said, with the animals often wandering into busy metropolis areas in quest of meals.

Authorities have prolonged warned the animals may pose a bodily menace and carry sickness, nonetheless locals have nonetheless delighted in numerous bizarre boar encounters.

In September 2020, a bunch of 4 wild boars took a dip inside the fountains exterior the Monetary establishment of China Tower. They’ve wandered proper right into a police station, a mall and onto the airport tarmac. In June this yr, a small boar was seen pleasing on the seats of a subway car, seemingly exhausted after a protracted journey.

The boar roundup was launched in a district the place authorities said some residents have been seen feeding them.Tyrone Siu / Reuters

The rogue animals mustn’t always peaceful, though. 

The change in protection comes after a violent encounter closing week whereby a wild boar knocked down a police officer and bit him on the leg. The boar subsequently plunged to its demise from a residential parking storage.

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam then spoke out, warning of stiffer penalties for anyone caught feeding boars. “I understand that numerous Hong Kong of us love the wetlands and nature,” she suggested a data conference this week. “However, we moreover wish to guard public safety.”

Lam added that there had been about 30 cases of untamed boars attacking individuals. “We’re capable of’t merely sit on our fingers whereas points deteriorate,” she said.

The city is residence to about 3,000 wild boars, primarily based on authorities data, and they aren’t a protected species.

And such incidents mustn’t confined to Hong Kong. Pop well-known individual Shakira said in September {{that a}} pair of untamed boars attacked her and snatched her purse whereas she was strolling in a park in Spain alongside along with her son.

The Italian capital, Rome, has moreover seen a wild boar invasion that prompted a frenzy ahead of native elections earlier this yr.

Animal rights activists protested the model new protection in Hong Kong.Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Animal rights groups criticized Hong Kong’s new anti-boar advertising and marketing marketing campaign.

In a assertion on Fb, the native chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its members “condemn” the selection to cull the boars, together with that “a non-lethal methodology to wildlife administration is always hottest.”

An web petition has moreover been circulating, co-signed by different animal activist groups, urging the federal authorities to withdraw its new protection. 

Roni Wong, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group, blamed the native authorities for the roots of the boar downside. Wong said officers had did not allocate property to deal with the animals peacefully, primarily based on Reuters.

“Now the animals must pay for the related charge,” Wong said.