Campers in Sai Kung got a bit of a surprise over the weekend when a wild boar gatecrashed their campsite and ran off with a tent on Saturday.
Video of the wild boar’s escapade at Ham Tin Beach, a popular campsite east of Sai Kung Country Park, appeared online on Saturday night.
In the video, the boar peruses a few tents before a particularly inviting green number catches its eye. The animal trots over, gives the tent a brief sniff, then abruptly yanks it up by the corner and takes off like a shot, dragging the tent with him.
Fortunately, the porcine pilferer doesn’t get far. After hoofing it about 30 meters the pig stops, apparently to have a good root around inside the tent — just long enough for a hastily assembled mob of campers to catch up. Chucking handfuls of sand and waving their arms around, the crowd of campers manages to spook the boar, which takes off across the beach with a few shouting/laughing campers in halfhearted pursuit.
The video was made public by Facebook user Eric Ho, who wrote in the caption that the clip initially appeared in a closed Facebook group for camping enthusiasts. The campers in the video were mainlanders taking advantage of the Labor Day Golden Week holiday, for which the mainland gets a week off.
The uneasy detente between man- and boar-kind that has persisted for decades in Hong Kong has grown increasingly shaky in recent years. In March, the authorities revealed that they received 929 reports of wild boar sightings and complaints in 2018, more than ever recorded before, and a 26 percent increase over the year before. They also recorded seven instances of wild boar-related injuries.
The ongoing war on boars has been a source of much controversy, with politicians offering unorthodox suggestions for how best to beat back the boar menace. Authorities used to control the wild boar population through a hunting program — which some advocate bringing back — but that initiative was replaced with the pilot “Capture, Contraception and Relocation/Release Programme” last February.
Under the scheme, boars are captured, sterilized, fitted with a GPS tracking device, then relocated or released into the wild. The AFCD said it expects to complete an evaluation of the program by the end of 2019.
As Coconuts Hong Kong reported last March, the increasing number of wild boar complaints is partly a result of the city’s growing wild boar population, with experts concerned that the growing population is becoming unsustainable.