Wild pig (Sus scrofa) is the largest native terrestrial mammal species in Hong Kong. Adult wild pigs may reach a shoulder height of 1m and a weight of 150kg.
In general, wild pigs are secretive and wary of human contact. However, if provoked or threatened they may become aggressive and may attack humans, particularly the dominant males or sows with piglets.
Wild pigs have thick and short bristly coats of brownish grey to black colour. Young wild pigs have a coat of chocolate and cream coloured stripes along their bodies. This pattern fades within six months to one year.
Wild pigs are common and widespread in Hong Kong, especially in the countryside of New Territories. They are widely distributed in habitats like woodland, grasslands and farm areas, etc. In recent years, they are attracted to urban or residential area due to human feeding.
Being omnivorous, wild pigs use their snout to sniff out food including roots, bulbs, and small animals (e.g. insects or earthworms) underground. There are plenty of natural food sources for wild pigs in the countryside of Hong Kong. However, wild pigs have become habituated to wander into the residential or public areas in recent year due to the instant supplies of food from human feeding and improperly disposed garbage.
Problem Caused by Feeding Activities
Adverse consequence to wild pig
- Having traffic accidents when searching for food in urban area
- Over-exploitation of natural resources, increasing competition between groups
- Overcrowding in urban area, causing deterioration of habitats
Adverse consequence to the public
Food residues from human feeding and the raiding of refuse collection points for food, causing environmental hygiene problems
- Wild pigs habituated to search for food in urban areas, causing nuisance to public and resident nearby
- Food residues from human feeding and the raiding of refuse collection points for food, causing environmental hygiene problems
Adverse consequence to the nature
Overpopulated wild pigs would have negative impacts on the consumption of natural resources, affecting the ecological balance
- Overpopulated wild pigs would have negative impacts on the consumption of natural resources, affecting the ecological balance
Capture, Contraception and Rehome/Release Programme
Wild Pigs are one of the most prolific large mammal species on earth. Under favourable conditions, they can breed twice a year and the litter size may ranges from 3 to 8 piglets. In the wild, their numbers are kept in check by a limited supply of natural food sources. In Hong Kong, the lack of natural predators and additional food supplies from human feeding result in over-population of wild pigs.
In order to control the population growth of wild pigs, a trial of “Capture, Contraception and Rehome/Release Programme” for wild pigs was launched this year. The wild pigs will be tranquilised safely and vaccinated with an immunocontraceptive vaccine by veterinary surgeons. The treated wild pigs will be released back to the nature. We will monitor the population at the trial site in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.