University of Hong Kong issues warning after wild pig attacks injure two near campus
Attacks prompt call from district councillor for a crackdown on people who feed the animals
The University of Hong Kong was on high alert on Wednesday, a day after the university issued a warning to be on the lookout for wild pigs following a pair of attacks near the campus.
A 39-year-old woman was attacked at about 11.15am on Tuesday by a boar near HKU’s Lyttelton Road exit, outside of Cambridge Gardens in Babington Path in the Mid-Levels. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene after the woman called police.
“She was injured in the head, chest and limbs and taken conscious to Queen Mary Hospital for treatment,” a police spokesman said. While police were at the hospital, another woman reported that her husband had been injured by a wild pig in Babington Path.
In that incident, a 41-year-old man suffered scratches to the face, hands and legs, police said.
Police and officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department searched the area but did not spot any wild pigs.
Police were unsure if the two victims were attacked by the same animal.
The attacks prompted Dr Steven Cannon, HKU’s executive vice-president, to issue a warning to faculty and students on Tuesday night.
“For safety sake, please stay at a distance from any wild animal, and if possible, please avoid walking close to the hill side,” he said.
He urged people to report any sighting of wild boars on or near the campus to the university’s security team immediately.
Central and Western district councillor Stephen Chan Chit-kwai, who is also chairman of the University of Hong Kong Staff Association, said the western Mid-Levels area had developed a bit of a wild pig problem.
“It is partly because some people like to feed the wild pigs. It has attract more and more wild pigs to the area,” Chan said. “The government has done some operations to catch the animals and neuter them, but then they release them to the wild again.”
Chan raised the issue at a district council meeting in May. He feared that wild pigs roaming the nearby hillsides could loosen the soil, which could cause landslides during heavy rain.
He said he hoped the government would crackdown on people who fed the animals.
Wild pigs, which can weigh up to 200kg, are common in Hong Kong, especially in the countryside. In general, the animals are secretive and wary of human contact. But, if provoked or threatened they may become aggressive.