People in a Hong Kong park watch while a wild boar scavenges for food. (AP)

People in a Hong Kong park watch while a wild boar scavenges for food. (AP)

By the Chinese astrological calendar it is the year of the pig. But these wild pigs are not what people need roaming around Hong Kong. (AP)

By the Chinese astrological calendar it is the year of the pig. But these wild pigs are not what people need roaming around Hong Kong. (AP)

People are curious and entertained in a Hong Kong park. But wild boars can be aggressive. (AP)

People are curious and entertained in a Hong Kong park. But wild boars can be aggressive. (AP)

Wild boars aren’t just seen in parks. They show up in Hong Kong’s streets, housing developments, and shopping centers, too. (AP)

Wild boars aren’t just seen in parks. They show up in Hong Kong’s streets, housing developments, and shopping centers, too. (AP)

People get pictures with a wild boar in the background. The boar doesn’t seem to mind, for now. (AP)

People get pictures with a wild boar in the background. The boar doesn’t seem to mind, for now. (AP)

Wild Pigs Take Over!

Posted: April 29, 2019

People in Asia celebrated their New Year this winter. Now it’s the year of the PIG! (The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year cycle of animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.) But people in Hong Kong, China, will tell you they’ve had enough of pigs already. Wild pigs—real ones—are running all over! People in Hong Kong see wild boars in parks, in housing developments, and even in shopping centers! Herds of wild boars rush across a road in front of cars. That’s dangerous for boars and drivers.

And there’s a problem: The wild boars seem to have lost their fear of humans. Authorities in the busy city are looking for ways to make sure humans and wild boars have fewer dangerous meetings.

More than seven million people live in Hong Kong. As the growing city spreads out, the wild boars multiply too. People move into spaces that used to be the boars’ homes. Not far from its cramped apartment blocks and neon lights, Hong Kong has plenty of untouched land where boars have lived for a long time. Some areas where homes are close to parks or forests have become popular spots for boars to forage for food among the garbage cans.

Boars have four razor sharp tusks that grow up to five inches long. They’re smart too, and weigh hundreds of pounds. Some hunters fear wild boars more than bears! Wild boars can also spread diseases to people. But wild boars attack very rarely. And the wild pigs can look very cute and cuddly. Not everyone agrees about what to do with the wild boars. Some say, “Kill the pigs!” Others say, “You don’t have to kill them. But please don’t feed them!”