Wild boar

Authority’s actions labelled ‘unbelievable’ after admitting vehicles hit wild pig during airport chase

Union calls for open investigation into Tuesday’s incident after witness claims truck collided head on with boar

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 December, 2016, 10:08pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 December, 2016, 11:11pm

The Airport Authority has admitted its vehicles made “physical contact” with a wild pig that wandered into the airport’s restricted area before it was captured and put down due to severe injury.

Police were investigating a possible clash after reports the pig was hit by the authority’s truck during Tuesday’s chase.

In a reply to the Post on Friday, the authority said it had no intention to harm the boar, and aviation safety was its top priority.

“As the boar had entered aircraft manoeuvring areas ... and in order to prevent the boar from intruding the runway area and endangering flight movements, [the authority’s] vehicles had attempted to stop the boar and there were physical contacts,” a spokeswoman said.

Wild boar injures Hong Kong policeman and passer-by in escape attempt

Roni Wong Ho-yin of Wild Boar Concern Group said the authority’s handling defied logic as using a car would leave the animal running more wildly out of fear.

“It was uncivilised, rough and unbelievable,” he said, labelling the authority’s actions as “murder”.

Pilot-turned-legislator Jeremy Tam Man-ho said the authority had to explain who decided to hit the animal and why the incident was covered up for three days, leaving the police to face questions over the use of excessive force during the incident.

Watch: Wild boar caught at Hong Kong Airport

“Aviation safety is important, but you don’t catch an animal like that,” Tam said.

A man working within the airport’s vicinity came forward on Thursday claiming he saw the boar being chased by two trucks before one of them hit the animal head on.

“The pig fell to the ground for several seconds and stood up again, running,” Tam quoted the eyewitness as saying.

Very Important Pigs get police escort back to Hong Kong country park

Police arrived soon after and subdued the 50kg female boar within ten minutes using shields. The animal was put down that night after government vets found it could no longer stand and its injuries had left it susceptible to infection.

Tam said a hit from a vehicle would explain why the animal ran a long distance and why police could tackle such a strong boar so quickly. He also questioned whether the authority had any guidelines on handling wild animals.

The Staff and Workers Union of Hong Kong Civil Airlines also questioned the authority’s protocols, and demanded it conduct an open investigation to explain how the animal entered the restricted area in the first place.