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Monday, Jan 24, 2022

Three wild boars at Cyberport escaped their death sentence

Three wild boars at Cyberport escaped their death sentence as they fled in time.
In a controversial announcement last Friday, Hong Kong authorities said boars captured in urban areas will be killed instead of released into the wild.

Some citizens supported the measure, saying they were concerned about attacks by wild boars. Another 40,000 people signed a petition for authorities to retract the decision.

On Sunday, three wild boars were spotted wandering around the bushes on Cyberport Road at around 9am. Two were 1.5 meters long, while the third one was a meter long.

Police arrived at the scene with shields. Two officers stopped the boars from going onto a pedestrian pavement. But when vets from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department arrived at around 10am, the three boars already left.

AFCD announced last Friday that it will begin capturing wild boars that appear in urban areas for animal euthanasia, saying the number of injuries caused by wild pigs has been on the rise in recent years.

“Over the last 10 years, there was only an average of one case of injury per year for the first seven years. It surged to 10 injury cases per year in the past three years,” an AFCD spokesman said.

Five animal-rights groups and an online media named Hong Kong Animal Post started a petition, demanding AFCD to retract their decision.

The petition highlighted that AFCD had told lawmakers in 2017 wild boars would not attack humans unless they were frightened or provoked. It called upon the department to investigate the causes behind the injuries before "convicting" the wild boars and sentencing them to death.

Over 40,000 have signed the petition as of 5.30pm Sunday. The petition will be submitted to the Food and Health Bureau and AFCD on Monday.

Three days before AFCD announced the latest strategy, a boar knocked down an auxiliary policeman and bit his right calf in North Point last Tuesday.

A 34-second car camera footage showed the boar chasing after the 52-year-old male policeman, and the cop fell multiple times when he tried to escape.

Citizens are divided over the issue. A woman surnamed Chan who lives in Ma On Shan said she does not think that euthanizing wild boars is necessary unless they attack humans. Another woman surnamed Lee said she was conflicted. She was worried that the boars would attack children, but she thought killing them is cruel.

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