Critter vs. commodity: the cognitive dissonance behind the plight of Hong Kong’s wild pigs

Wild boars are in the news again. Seldom a week goes by these days without news of a wild boar causing some kind of commotion in the city. Wild boar sightings and nuisance reports are up again this year with over 500 instances, compared with around 400 over the same period last year. The same goes for the capture of the porcine mischief-makers with close to 300 being caught last year, most of which were later released into country parks.

Despite the government’s best efforts to control the pigs via a sterilisation programme, boars are showing up in urban areas in increasing numbers and more unexpected places. Last month, the mother of pop star Coco Lee fractured her hip as a result of a boar encounter on the Peak. A few years ago, one was even spotted on the tarmac at Chek Lap Kok.

A wild boar. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The increase in the number of human-boar encounters has been attributed to people feeding them, despite efforts by the government to discourage the practice.


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