Hong Kong’s Wild Boar Crisis

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Hong Kong’s Wild Boar Crisis

Phoebe Reiter, News Editor

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Amidst the Chinese new year, which currently celebrates the year of the pig, Hong Kong is undergoing a dilemma regarding the wild boars that populate the area. The dilemma? There are too many.

Chinese authorities are worried that the increasing number of boars endangers the safety of residents, due to a long, repetitive history of wild boar attacks. Due to the expansion of urban cities, the animals are becoming more frequently sited along roads, parks, and other public areas. According to SCMP, “last year two people, aged 65 and 75, were sent to a hospital after being rammed and bitten by a boar”. Reportedly, officials have received increasing amounts of complaints regarding the boars, with many denoting them as nuisances. From 2013 to 2017, complaints have gone from 300 to 700.

In the above image, one can see how close in proximity the boars can be.

One possible method to stall the rapidly increasing birthrate is sterilization. Others, however, claim that a “full-on cull is needed.” A cull refers to the slaughtering of a large number of animals, in other words: large scale extermination. This naturally isn’t favored by animal rights activists, who are calling for a relocation instead. However, others dispute that moving them to uninhabited islands isn’t a long term solution, as “boars are very good swimmers.”

Although a chief executive had claimed that AFCD, the department that focuses on the animal and fish communities, would be able to introduce natural predators to limit the boar population, it has later been reported that this would be too dangerous for residents. Predators of the wild boar include tigers and lions, both of which pose a threat to the safety of the public.

The best way to deal with the animals, at least when considering the current options, remains to be the removal of their food sources within public areas. This is only feasible if the public cooperates by not feeding the animals, and authorities have already taken it upon themselves to inform residents of this request.

Hopefully, these methods will cause wild pig populations to decrease, in order to secure the safety of the general public in Hong Kong.

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