The University of Hong Kong (HKU) was on high alert on Wednesday, a day after two reports of boar 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, while another woman reported that her husband had been injured by a wild pig on Babington Path.
The attacks prompted Dr Steven Cannon, HKU’s executive vice-president, to issue a warning to staff and students on Tuesday night.
“Please stay at a distance from any wild animal and, if possible, avoid walking close to the hillside,” he said.
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 attracted more and more wild pigs to the area,” Chan said.
Specialists say that boars have been forced into urban areas because of their shrinking habitats and because people don’t get rid of their food waste properly, which attracts the animals.
Tan Kit-sun, Kadoorie Farms’ senior fauna conservation officer, said that feeding these animals will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans, which makes conflict more likely.
Tan says that there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind if you encounter wild boars in Hong Kong.
“Back away and make space for the wild boar; do not block its escape back to its natural habitat, and keep quiet so as not to enrage the animal.” Respecting the animals’ space will help you to avoid a confrontation, he added.