Two hikers bitten by monkeys at Hong Kong’s Shing Mun Country Park

Clifford Lo
·2-min read

Two hikers in a Hong Kong country park were bitten by monkeys in separate incidents an hour apart on Thursday. It was unclear if the cases involved the same animal.

A 48-year-old woman was bitten on the right leg by a monkey while hiking downhill at about 3pm with two friends along a trail from Pineapple Dam to the reservoir in Shing Mun Country Park.

“A monkey suddenly jumped out and hugged her right leg. As her friend tried to get the animal off her, it bit her on the leg and fled,” a police source said.

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Emergency personnel, including paramedics and officers from the rural patrol team, rushed to the scene after receiving a report.

The injured woman was sent to Yan Chai Hospital in Tsuen Wan for medical treatment. A police spokeswoman said it was not clear what triggered the attack.

At about 4pm, a 49-year-old woman in the same country park was bitten when a monkey tried to snatch a bottle from her hands. She was also sent to Yan Chai Hospital. Police could not confirm if it was the same animal from the earlier case.

Yan Chai hospital in Tsuen Wan. Photo: K. Y. Cheng
Yan Chai hospital in Tsuen Wan. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

In Hong Kong, the dominant macaque species is rhesus macaque, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

There are about 2,000 rhesus macaques – mainly seen in Kam Shan Country Park, Lion Rock Country Park, Shing Mun Country Park and Tai Po Kau Special Area.

Complaints about wild animals in Hong Kong have risen by 75 per cent in past five years

“Generally, monkeys would not harass you if you do not offer food to them. Please remain calm when there are monkeys nearby,” the department said on its website.

“Do not eat when there are monkeys around”, “Do not stare at the monkeys as staring would provoke them” and “Do not make any loud noise. Noise would make the monkeys nervous” are among safety advice issued by the department.

People enjoy a day out at Shing Mun Reservoir. Photo: Dickson Lee
People enjoy a day out at Shing Mun Reservoir. Photo: Dickson Lee

“When a monkey poses immediate threat to life and property, you should report to police by calling 999 for emergency assistance,” it said.

The department also appealed to members of the public not to feed monkeys, adding that “feeding of monkeys and other wild animals will not only affect their natural behaviour and disturb the ecosystem, but also cause environmental hygiene and nuisance problems”.

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