Reward grows to HK$150,000 in Lantau cow case
Anonymous donor moved by death of cattle in hit and run adds HK$50,000 to find driver
A reward being offered to catch the culprit behind the hit and run that killed eight Lantau cows last week now stands at HK$150,000, after an anonymous donor added HK$50,000 to the pot.
The donor, who asked not to be identified, came forward with the offer of the cash after seeing film footage online and photographs of the dead and dying animals at the scene.
Lantau Buffalo Association chairwoman Ho Loy said yesterday that the donor, a Hong Kong Island resident, was very touched by the incident. "He came to visit the site and he had strong feelings about the animals ... He wanted to support us and to encourage people, an informant, to come forward," said Ho, whose association put up the original HK$100,000 reward.
"I have many members of the public calling me and sharing their concerns but we have nothing really, no information … yet."
Eight feral cattle were killed in the hit and run at Tong Fuk Village at around 3.30am last Wednesday. One of the animals was a two-week-old calf, which was alive but had to be put down later after being taken away for treatment by veterinary surgeons.
Ho said the mother of the calf had survived and was returning daily to the scene of the crash. "It is very sad. The last time she saw the calf, it was alive. She doesn't know it has died and is still coming back to look for it every day."
Yesterday, members of Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS) met police to express concerns over how the animals were treated at the crash site and traffic problems on Lantau. They also submitted a letter asking police to investigate officers who attended the scene for possible dereliction of duty or animal cruelty.
Group founder Jacqui Green said the police caused the dying animals additional suffering by moving them from the road to the pavement, treating them like a road hazard and not victims needing help. "There is a very definite case of cruelty to animals as far as the way they handled them," Green said. "Their concern in moving them appeared to be that they were considered a traffic hazard. Some of them were alive, but they were dragged across the road. This would have caused them additional suffering. One calf which was alive was piled up with the dead ones."
Lantau police district commander Samson Cho Ming-lung confirmed they received a letter from PALS, but said he was unable to comment until he had reviewed records of the incident.
Cho renewed calls for witnesses to assist the investigation. "I understand some residents in Lantau travel quite a lot because they are pilots or air stewards. They may have been out of town in the last few days and we ask them to come forward if they have any information," he said.
A woman, 49, was arrested and released on bail after her Mitsubishi SUV was found parked close by, dented and containing animal hair and blood.