Hong Kong police have arrested one man and are hunting another still at large after a wild boar was found decapitated and dumped in a hillside stream in Wong Chuk Hang on Saturday morning.
The grisly slaughter came to light when a hiker found two suspicious men by the stream of Aberdeen Lower Reservoir on Wong Chuk Hang Road, where they were holding knives covered in blood. The hiker reported the incident to police at 11.09am.
Chief inspector Hau Lai-man, of the Western police district crime squad, said officers arrived at the scene and found a beheaded 1.3-metre-long wild boar in the water with its belly cut open.
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“We have found a knife, a hoe and an axe nearby,” said Hau. “In the stream, officers also picked up an unemployed 63-year-old man who looked similar to what the hiker described. The man was cleaning his hands at the time he was intercepted, and was stuttering when answering officers’ questions.”
Hau said officers suspected the man was linked to the case, and would detain him overnight for questioning.
According to the hiker, the two men were around 50 to 60 years old and about 1.6 metres tall. One was shirtless, while the other was wearing a black vest. Hau urged members of the public who have information on the case to come forward and contact the force at 3660 6611 or 9824 1367.
The wild boar was believed to have been caught in a trap before it was killed, as there were bruises on its leg.
A spokesperson for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its staff also arrived at the scene after being notified by the police, adding that officers found suspected organs and the boar’s head in the nearby bushes.
Investigation by the Western police district crime squad is under way. The case is classified as cruelty to animals, which is punishable by three years in prison and a HK$200,000 fine, with defendants usually standing trial in the magistrates’ courts.
There are around 3,300 wild boars across Hong Kong according to an estimate from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
The Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group said it was outraged and heartbroken over the incident, with group member Wong Ho-yin noting that boar sightings were common around Wong Chuk Hang and slamming the culprits for flouting the law in broad daylight.
“I urge the authorities to handle the matter seriously. Besides arresting the culprits as soon as possible, it is also important to prosecute,” Wong told local media, blaming the Department of Justice for sending the wrong message when it let off two suspects who threw dozens of pets from a high-rise window in February.
In September, the two men who surrendered to police over the incident, which left 18 pets dead, were let go when the Department of Justice decided not to lay any charges, saying there was insufficient evidence to initiate criminal proceedings. The decision sparked outrage among animal rights groups.
Similar wild boars killings happened in 2018, when a beheaded wild pig was dumped on a hill in Tai Wai. In the same year, a group of five young wild pigs were killed by a hit-and-run driver in Tai Mo Shan Country Park.
In 2015, two men were arrested on suspicion of bludgeoning two one-year-old boars to death with a metal pipe in a Hong Kong country park. They were suspected of killing the wild pigs for food.
Last year, the government launched a public consultation over reviewing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, suggesting the maximum jail sentence for animal abuse be upped to 10 years behind bars, and enabling prosecutors to start criminal proceedings in the higher courts.
An amendment proposal has yet to be published.
This article Hong Kong police arrest one, hunt another over grisly killing of wild boar first appeared on South China Morning Post