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‘Education on wild pigs better than killing them’ – RTHK



Learning to co-exist with wild pigs is more important than just capturing and killing boars when they enter urban areas, a wildlife group said on Sunday.

The Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group also called on people to stay away from injured wild pigs to lessen the chance of conflict between them and the animals.

On Friday, two people were attacked near Fo Tan MTR station by a boar, which was later killed by authorities. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said officers dispatched the animal humanely to ensure public safety.

Roni Wong, from the concern group, told RTHK the incident was unfortunate, but stressed that culling the animal was not the only way out.

“[Authorities] should invest or put more resources to educate people, to tell them how to co-exist with wild boars. They also have to increase the resources for inspecting the black spots to educate people not to feed wild boars, rather than just using an easy, efficient way to kill wild boars,” Wong said.

“Every wildlife has its protecting behaviour…Under certain situations, like in congested areas or confined areas, when they’re not familiar with the new environment, they’ll choose to protect themselves.”

The AFCD said since the introduction of a policy to put down boars that posed safety risks, the number of wild pig nuisance black spots had decreased from 63 in 2021 to 42 in 2022.

Officials added that they had received more than 1,400 boar sightings and nuisance reports in 2021, but that number was down to 440 as of May this year. Injuries caused by wild pigs also dropped to single digits this year from 2022.

Gary Ades, who heads the fauna conservation department at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, said the rise in wild boars in urban areas was mainly caused by people feeding them, adding that culling animals that were causing a nuisance was a common population control method.

“This unnatural feeding causes the population to grow larger than it should. The female boars start to give birth to a maximum number of young because they know there’s a load of food just down the road to get, and so they feel confident that they are going to feed all of their offspring,” Ades told RTHK.

“If they’re left just inside the forest, you have all sorts of natural controls, such as wild predators. Burmese pythons will eat young boars and some animals will die naturally of disease. But I think in an unnatural situation, you do need to have as part of your management tools a culling programme.”

Ades, however, cautioned that culling should be done carefully, adding that it’s only one of many ways to deal with conflicts between wild animals and humans.

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