Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hog Wild In Hong Kong

I knew that Texas and many places in the South have trouble with wild pigs. It looks like they aren't the only ones. According to the Wall Street Journal, the population of wild pigs or boars has exploded in Hong Kong. The number of human-pig interactions has grown due to the growth in the number of wild pigs.
On a Sunday in May, a wild boar got into the Paradise Mall in the city’s Chai Wan district, walked into a children’s clothing store and scared off the two employees. The small female boar climbed up into, and then crashed through, the store’s ceiling. It bit a mannequin and was trapped in a changing room before it was tranquilized by authorities.

Earlier in the day on the other side of town, another wild boar was subdued in a public park after taking a swim in a lake. The week before, police with riot shields chased a boar into a parking garage and barricaded it with dumpsters before it was taken away.

“They are wild animals and not pets,” says Chan Kang, the 72-year-old factory owner who leads the Sai Kung Wild Pig Hunting Club—so named because Hong Kongers use the terms “wild pig” and “wild boar” interchangeably. “They are fierce and not kind.”

But partly due to the new boar boosters, Mr. Chan’s team killed “less than 3 boars” last year compared with “over a hundred” a year a decade ago. The boars are growing in number and “fear no man,” Mr. Chan said.

The city, he says, didn’t have a wild boar problem when the hunters were allowed to roam more freely.
On the other side of the spectrum is the Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group who contend that the boars are gentle and the hunting of them  should stop. Roni Wong, who founded the group, hands out pamphlets featuring drawings of the boars as fuzzy, adorable animals. Even though he has a picture of a boar nuzzling a cat, I'm wondering if the boar is merely sizing up the cat as a potential meal.

Seeing the damage that hogs have caused both farmers and the environment in the US, it is hard to believe that Chinese hogs are any different. Perhaps Hong Kong would be better off letting Mr. Chan turn a few hogs into Moo Shu Pork. Either that or we send them Pigman.

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