Beloved feral cow and “part of Sai Kung life” Mango the Bull was killed in a collision with a car last night in the latest example of Hong Kong’s troubled relationship with the wildlife on its doorstep.
The accident, first reported on by the online district publication Sai Kung Buzz, saw a 48-year-old woman driving a BMW SUV crash into Mango’s head sometime after 9pm as he patrolled his usual route along Tai Ming Tsai Road.
The outlet described Mango, who was said to have died quickly from his injuries, as “a bull many had loved, cared for and monitored over the years.”
Local residents have long complained of speeding along the road, which is frequently trafficked by the herd of feral cattle in the area, but city officials have declined to take steps to address the issue, according to Carol Biddell, co-founder of Sai Kung Buffalo Watch.
“We’ve been campaigning for the last seven to 10 years for more speed traps, and fixed cameras and so on,” said Biddell, who noted this wasn’t the first time cattle had been struck on the road.
But despite raising the issue “many, many, many times,” officials from the Transport Department “always come up with a reason why we can’t have” additional anti-speeding measures, she added.
What’s more, Biddell told Coconuts HK, in recent weeks motorists appear to have been using the road as a personal racetrack, though police haven’t been able to arrive in time to stop the drivers.
The danger to cattle and motorists along the road — which has numerous blind spots as it is — has been compounded in recent years by well-meaning but ignorant locals dumping hay on the roadside out of fear the cows were “starving.”
Local authorities have repeatedly reminded Hongkongers, to seemingly no avail, that feeding wild animals only serves to put them at greater risk in the long run.
“Its awful because it’s basically domesticating wild animals,” Biddell said, pointing to Hong Kong’s mounting wild boar problem, which officials say has been exacerbated by people feeding the pigs.
“This is what’s going to happen with the cattle,” she added.
According to Biddell, Mango-spotting had been something of a local pastime among Sai Kung residents.
“Mango had a regular route along the Tai Mong Tsai Road, and often stopped off at the villages on the way to graze or take a rest,” she said. “And people loved to look out for him.”
Mango was preceded to the big country park in the sky by fellow “Sai Kung icon” Grumpy, a “stubborn” bull known for roaming Sai Kung town who died of apparent old age last year.
Both bulls are survived by the roughly 800 remaining members of the herd.