Pigs lead hunters on a merry hillside chase
Tranquilliser darts and nets were used in a six-hour operation yesterday to capture two wild pigs loose on a hillside in Fortress Hill.
One of the animals, a young male of 25kg, later died of stress, but the other, a 50kg adult, was being held in a government centre in Sheung Shui last night. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the adult had suffered minor injuries and was being held for observation.
Police and conservation officers were called when a passer-by saw the animals running around on the hillside near Comfort Terrace, opposite Cannon Garden, at about 8am.
They cordoned off the area to prevent the pigs from escaping, with several police officers carrying shotguns and shields standing guard at the bottom of the slope.
A government veterinarian with a tranquilliser gun was later called in.
The animals played hide-and-seek with the conservation officers who, carrying shields and nets, approached and tried to capture them.
When the pair tried to run down the slope, police officers used their shields to create a noise by hitting the ground, scaring the pigs to retreat.
Having failed to capture them by noon, it was decided to use the tranquilliser gun.
'Our veterinarian fired three transquilliser darts,' the department's spokesman said. 'One of the three darts hit the adult boar, but the two other shots missed. [The adult] was then captured.
'Our officers then used nets to capture the smaller one. The incident ended at about 2pm.'
The young boar died on the way to the animal centre. The spokesman said the adult could be released back into the environment if it was found to be healthy.
He said he had no idea where the pigs had come from.
In February, a 50kg boar was captured in North Point. It was injured and had to be put down.
'Don't try to approach or tease a wild boar because it may attack,' the spokesman said. 'If you see a boar, stay calm and leave it alone, and call police if there is any danger.'
The department received 383 complaints about wild pigs last year, up from 347 in 2008 and 202 in 2007.
Official figures show 56 wild pigs were killed in 119 hunting operations last year, with 74 killed in 159 operations in 2008.