Wild boar

Save Hong Kong campsites: from commercial campers and wild boars

  • The authorities managing the city’s campsites might want to take note of the increasing number of seemingly permanent structures as well as the danger posed by wild boars
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2018, 8:34am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2018, 8:34am

I am a teacher at an international school in Hong Kong and I lead a large Hong Kong Award for Young People scheme. I have been doing this in Hong Kong for 25 years. One of the great things about Hong Kong is its campsites, which are in wonderful locations, have some good facilities and are free.

However, over the last two years, I have become very concerned about two problems which appear to be getting worse and both of which seem to be unregulated.

The first relates to people erecting permanent structures at campsites. These are large tents with open dining areas, sometimes with solar panels and even televisions. I have seen these at the Nam Shan, Hok Tau and Wan Tsai campsites. These are not camps which stay for a few days; in fact, they occupy (sometimes limited) space for weeks or months on end.

I think many of them are commercial ventures attracting groups of people, probably from the mainland, to stay for free in Hong Kong. Such structures reduce the space available for genuine campers, including families and school groups, and create the mess that goes with it (“Make visitors pay to camp at Butterfly Beach Park in Tuen Mun”, August 8).

The second is wild boars (“Why wild pigs caught in Hong Kong’s urban areas should be humanely destroyed”, October 26). The weekend before last, I was out at Wan Tsai with 60 students and 15 teachers. Our tents were attacked by wild boars. Teachers and children were traumatised and our tents were seriously damaged. The boars have no fear of humans and have free rein of the site from dusk to dawn. We were so concerned the boars might attack the tents while our children were sleeping that we had staff patrol the campsite all night.

Boars shot with tranquilliser gun after downtown Hong Kong jaunt

There are no warning signs at the campsites and there appear to be no strategies to control these boars. I wonder if the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is aware of this problem and what control measures are in place, as it seems that there has been little progress in this area and potentially there could be a serious incident involving possible injury, psychological distress, or worse.

Andy Morris, North Point