A lawmaker has said the government should consider introducing natural predators of wild pigs to help control the population. Predators of boars include tigers, dogs, panthers, wolves and large raptors.

Kenneth Lau, representing the rural body Heung Yee Kuk, asked Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a Q&A session on Wednesday what the government’s plan was to deal with boars regularly appearing in urban areas.

“Some crossed roads, some swam across oceans. We are very concerned that we may be attacked,” he said. “I have more than ten clips of wild pigs on my phone. In one of them, a child was hit by a wild pig at a park. This is a very serious issue.”

wild pig
Photo: HKFP/Arthur Lo.

He said after the government stopped hunting wild pigs, complaints from the public have increased from 294 in 2013 to 738 in 2017.

“Wild pigs will not distinguish between rural and urban areas. They will go anywhere that they can find food,” he said.

Lau said the government’s method, using an immune-contraceptive vaccine to control the population of wild pigs, had failed.

“Will the government reintroduce the hunting team, or use alternative methods such as introducing natural predators to Hong Kong?” he asked.

Kenneth Lau
Kenneth Lau. Photo: LegCo.

According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the wild pig is the largest native terrestrial mammal in Hong Kong.

“In Hong Kong, the lack of natural predators and additional food supplies from human feeding result in over-population of wild pigs,” the department’s website said.

In response, Lam said she has heard that wild pigs appeared in groups and they were not afraid of humans.

“I have asked the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to handle the issue,” she said. “We are very concerned about this issue.”

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. Photo: LegCo.

Lam said one method was to improve education to teach people not to go near or feed wild pigs.

Responding to the suggestion of introducing natural predators, Lam said she will ask experts to look into it.

At a Tai Po District Council panel meeting on Friday, AFCD Senior Wetland & Fauna Conservation Officer Cheung Ka-shing said that the natural predators of wild pigs are lions and tigers, among others.

He said it would be too high-risk to introduce the natural predators.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.