Recently, the Southern District councilor of Pok Fu Lam constituency, Paul Zimmerman sent out a mailer advising residents how to deal with wild boar should they happen come across these animals in the Pok Fu Lam area. Apparently there have been several recent sightings of wild boar around Victoria Road and Pok Fu Lam Road.
In fact, last month, a wild boar had to be put down after it got its head stuck in a fence near the popular residential development, Baguio Villa in Pok Fu Lam. The hapless animal had fallen into a gutter and had got stuck in the railing. It was also badly injured in the neck, head, and leg. Residents on discovering the badly injured animal had called out the Agriculture and Fisheries Department personnel who went on to sedate the injured animal before firefighters climbed down into the gutter to cut it free.
The Wild Pig or Eurasian Wild Pig (Susscrofa) is one of the many species of mammals that is native to Hong Kong. Surprising isn’t it given that most people perceive Hong Kong as a ‘concrete jungle’, a skyscraper city, whose every nook and cranny features tall, glass and cement monoliths.
In actuality about 40% of the land that makes up Hong Kong consists of lush, country parks, which encompass picturesque rolling hills, woodlands, lush grasslands, reservoirs and scenic beach fronts. Hong Kong’s country parks are hugely popular with the residents of the SAR, who consider them to be heavens for recreational activities such as walking, hiking, camping, and more.
Moreover, these country parks are outfitted with well-laid walking and nature trails and have facilities like toilets, campsites and barbecue pits. They are also within easy reach via the city’s many modes of public transportation.
Many of these country parks have in fact been designated as conservation areas in an effort to preserve Hong Kong’s rather substantial native repository of fauna. A selection that may not feature any big cats but features civets, barking deer, porcupines, Macaque monkeys along with more than five hundred species of birds and more than two hundred species of butterflies. Added to this mix are Hong Kong’s native venomous and nonvenomous reptiles such as the Chinese Cobra, the King Cobra, the Bamboo Pit Viper and the Burmese Python.
While most of these creatures inhabit remote areas of the lush country parks, they do sometimes venture out of their habitat. Along with the injured wild boar Pok Fu Lam, there was the case of a young Burmese python, which made an appearance near the Quarry Bay promenade in May 2014. Torrential rains had washed it down from the hillside onto the promenade where it proceeded to create quite a stir. Given these incidents, it would not be wrong to say that everywhere in Hong Kong, the jungle is at your doorstep.
In fact, this is the unmatched uniqueness of the landscape of Hong Kong. The city at first glance may appear to be just another shining metropolis but enclosed within its folds is another world, a verdant paradise where waking up to raucous birdsong is not uncommon.
It is for this reason that many nature lovers in Hong Kong choose to live in the greenest areas of the city. Areas like Tai Tam, Pok Fu Lam, Repulse Bay, Stanley, Sai Kung and Clear Water Bay where green surroundings and much flora and fauna abound.
Folk who prefer to live within easy access to Central and the Midlevels need not feel deprived. Nature is always within easy reach in Hong Kong. You can easily experience its many joys by traversing the city’s many famous hiking trails such as the Maclehose trail (100 km across the New Territories), the Hong Kong trail (50 km through country parks) and the Wilson Trail (78 km from Stanley to the New Territories).
If hiking seems too strenuous for you, you could get then get your nature fix by penciling in a tamer pursuit like a bird-watching session in Hong Kong Park. Or then you could take a boat tour to the outlying islands of PengChau and Lantau to catch sight of Hong Kong’s mascot its famed pink dolphins.
In fact, no matter where you turn in Hong Kong nature and its countless bounties seem omnipresent. This aspect is what sets Asia’s world city apart from its counterparts. For amongst its many towering behemoths, Hong Kong nurtures an environment that enables humans to live easily in harmony with nature.