A wild boar was caught in an animal trap and beaten to death on a Hong Kong hillside over the weekend, police suspected as they mounted a search for three men.
A witness told officers on Sunday she had encountered two men beating a squealing pig with unidentified hard objects near a refuse station on Cheung Hang Road, Lai Chi Kok, shortly before 10pm.
The woman then rushed to her home in a nearby village, returning with her boyfriend to see two of the attackers boarding a delivery van driven by a third man. It sped away before police arrived.
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Officers on the scene found the wild pig had succumbed to its injuries. They mounted a search but no arrests were made. The two attackers were described as about 1.8 metres tall and both wearing grey T-shirts at the time of the incident.
Officers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were also called to the scene.
“Our inspector found the dead boar with a wire trap tied to its right front limb and a trap component was found next to the carcass,” the SPCA spokeswoman said.
“Upon initial inspection of the carcass by the inspector on site, no major wound was found except bloodstains on the torso and nasal area.”
The carcass was sent to the charity’s Kowloon centre for temporary storage. It will be handed to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for a necropsy.
Detectives from the Sham Shui Po criminal investigation unit are handling the case, which has been classified as “cruelty to animal”. As of Monday morning, no arrests were made.
“Wildlife animals are also part of our community. The SPCA is against any form of animal cruelty and is working towards further improving animal welfare in Hong Kong,” the spokeswoman said.
Animal cruelty carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a HK$200,000 (US$25,800) fine.
Separately, police were called to a hillside near Cheung Po Tsuen off Kam Po Road in Pat Heung on Sunday morning when a cage, suspected to be used to catch wild pigs, was found.
In the afternoon, officers arrested two men, aged 48 and 54, on suspicion of illegal hunting of wild animals. The two men had been released on bail, pending further investigation.
“Police never tolerate any act of animal cruelty or illegal hunting of wild animals and will follow up each case seriously and actively,” the force said in a statement.
In Hong Kong, illegal hunting carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of HK$100,000 under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance.
On Friday, a mongrel dog was found with its left leg caught in an animal trap on a hillside near Siu Hang San Tsuen off Sha Tau Kok Road in Sheung Shui, prompting police to launch a criminal investigation.
The pet was taken to the SPCA centre in Wan Chai for the treatment before being handed back to its owner.
A man was arrested in November last year after a wild boar was found decapitated in a hillside stream in Wong Chuk Hang.
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