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Wild boar

Police subdue wild boar at Hong Kong airport restricted area

Second pig spotted later in the day, operations were not affected and no damage occurred

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2016, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 December, 2016, 8:02am

Elite officers from the police force’s airport security unit carried out an unusual operation on Tuesday afternoon. They were deployed to subdue a 50kg wild pig that had wandered into the restricted area of Hong Kong International Airport.

At least three officers were witnessed using shields to pin and trap the adult female boar on the floor after a brief hide-and-seek around the airport’s north apron. The animal was subdued before conservation staff arrived.

The incident came to light at 2.18pm, when officers were alerted by an Airport Authority employee that the three-foot long animal was wandering along North Perimeter Road, according to police.

Watch: Wild boar caught at Hong Kong airport

(Video courtesy Instagram @richardtan)

“After sighting the wild pig in the restricted area, staff immediately gave chase and also called in officers from the security unit who later subdued it,” a spokeswoman for the Airport Authority said.

Police said the pig was captured before 2.30pm.

The authority spokeswoman said investigations were ongoing to find out how the pig entered the airport’s restricted area. The animal was later handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

“The injured pig was taken to the New Territories North animal management centre in Sheung Shui,” a department spokeswoman said, adding that vets would examine the pig.

Just hours later, at about 6.30pm, another wild pig was spotted inside the restricted area near a berth close to the end of the north runway.

When police and airport workers tried to approach the animal at 7pm, it jumped into the sea and swam away.

The Airport Authority spokeswoman said operations were not affected by either incident and there was no damage.

Conservationist Alex Hofford said earlier this year that it was possible that dwindling natural food supplies due to creeping urbanisation and Hong Kong’s less-than-glowing record on biodiversity were forcing wild animals into urban areas in search of food.

According to the department, there were 370 sightings of wild pigs across the city in the first eight months of the year. There were 518 such reports in the whole of last year.

Three months ago, a three-foot wild pig showed up at the New Territories South police headquarters in Tsuen Wan. The animal rested in the air-conditioned lobby before running out. It was netted at a nearby bus station. The adult male was later released back into the wild at an unspecified suburban location.