7 amazing animals you can find in Hong Kong

7 amazing animals you can find in Hong Kong

You’d be surprised at what creatures can be found in our city

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Monkey Mountain, named for the large monkey population there is home to many Rhesus Macaques.
Photo: Thomas Gomersall

It may not seem like it, but you live in a biologists’ gold mine. More than 5,000 species have been recorded in Hong Kong and, while many animals prefer to live away from people, plenty of others can be found practically on your doorstep. So grab your binoculars, lace up your walking boots, and see how many of these seven easy wildlife sightings you can make.

Rhesus Macaque

These monkeys are common in Hong Kong, with a population of more than 1,800. Many can be found in Kam Shan Country Park (aka Monkey Mountain), and you’re likely to find a bunch of them hanging around the car parks.

These creatures are good for photos, but don’t get too close, and definitely DO NOT give them any food. Not only is feeding the monkeys illegal, but they can quickly turn nasty when you don’t give up your food or even a bag that they think contains food.

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Yellow Crested Cockatoo

The Yellow Crested Cockatoo may not be a native species (they are originally from Indonesia), but if you like rare birds there’s no easier one to spot in Hong Kong. Two hundred of this critically endangered species live on Hong Kong Island – though some occasionally fly over to Kowloon.


Black Kite

These adaptable scavengers are extremely common in Hong Kong, and are just as at home in Central as in country parks. Sai Kung Pier is a particular favourite spot of theirs, and seeing huge flocks of them gliding around the Peak at sunset is a wildlife spectacle that’s hard to beat.

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Egret

Where there’s water, you can bet there’ll be egrets. Two species – the Great and Little Egret – can easily be seen anywhere along our coastlines and urban rivers, peering through the water for small fish to eat. For a glimpse of their more parental (and noisy) side, try Tai Po Market Egretry from March to August.

Wild Pig

Once shy animals, Hong Kong’s increasingly bold hogs are now creeping into urban areas often. For a more natural setting, however, try Aberdeen Country Park in the early morning or late afternoon. But keep a safe distance – they’re large, powerful animals. Just because they’ve lost their fear of you doesn’t mean you should do the same.

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Pallas’ Squirrel

Another non-native (this time from Thailand), but definitely a cute one! This squirrel is highly active during the day, and is best seen in Pok Fu Lam and Hong Kong Park. For a real aww moment, watch them scurry through Bauhinia trees from November to March in search of the tasty flowers.

The Pallas' Squirrel can be found in Pok Fu Lam and Hong Kong Park
Photo: Thomas Gomersall

Water Buffalo

Not to be confused with the feral cows in the New Territories, Water Buffalo are commonly found in the wetlands of Pui O in South Lantau. Traditionally used by farmers to work fields, today they enjoy a much more relaxed life of mud baths and free tick removal, thanks to the local cattle egrets.

Water Buffalo roam the wetlands of Pui O in South Lantau
Photo: Thomas Gomersall

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Seven Easiest Animals to see in Hong Kong

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