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A few things – Wild animals in HK

Sarah Richard
Nikhil Gidwani

 

Hong Kong is generally a pretty safe place. However, Hong Kong is home to a number of wild animals that can be dangerous. Read the below to find out a bit more!

 

Potentially dangerous wild Animals in HK: HK’s flora and fauna is thriving. Two thirds of HK has been designated as country park, meaning that building is not allowed (hmmmm….), so wild animals are present. Please take note that you are not allowed to feed any wild animals in HK because otherwise the animals are led to believe that humans=food.

Wild boars are commonly found in the countryside, especially in Sha Tau Kok, north of Plover Cove and in Sai Kung. They can also be found on HK Island. They are generally shy and timid but can get aggressive if they are threatened. Best to stay away. For an example of wild boar in HK please see the link .

Feral cattle are found on Lantau and in the New Territories, especially Yuen Long and Sai Kung. Water buffalo are also present. They can be extremely dangerous, but usually ignore humans. Still, best to stay away from them. Their history is rather sad – many were abandoned as HK moved away from agriculture and dairies. They live on however as semi-wild animals.

The New Territories is full of monkeys – Rhesus Macaques and Long-Tailed Macaques. They’re generally not aggressive, but you never know what diseases they may be carrying. They’re usually after food, but don’t feed them – it’s illegal. You can find them in Kam Shan Country Park and Shing Mun Country Park. There is an urban legend about a monkey in the late 1990s that made it into the urban areas, hopped on the Star Ferry and ran up to The Peak, though I am unable to verify if it really did happen or not.

Snakes! OMG there are 52 types of snakes in HK and 13 of them are venomous. Can be found anywhere in HK, though mostly in rural areas such as the New Territories, Southern District and Lantau Island. They are mostly quite shy and scared of humans, though they may strike if they feel threatened. Green Bamboo snakes are present all over HK, they are more likely to bite than a Chinese Cobra, which are much more commonly found than a King Cobra. All three are venomous. Rat Snakes are gray. They are not venomous but aggressive. Red-Necked Keelbacks are venomous too, but interestingly only if bitten by rear

fangs. Human bites generally involve the front teeth only. Many-Banded Kraits are extremely venomous so if you’re bitten medical help must be obtained within 1-4 hours, otherwise death is possible. Pythons are sometimes found in HK too – they’re not venomous, but have been known to eat cats, dogs, goats…

Sharks sometimes come to HK, there have been no shark attacks in HK waters since the 90s. Good news for your next junk trip! Most common sharks are tiger sharks and occasionally a Great White will stray into HK. Most beaches in HK have shark nets – use them!

Crocodiles are not a local species, but it is believed that some genius released one into the Shan Pui River in Yuen Long in 2003 – she became a celebrity after local fishermen tried in vain to capture her after the first sighting. A famous Aussie crocodile hunter flew over to assist but he was unsuccessful. Eventually she was captured, spent some time at Kadoorie Farm, and then was moved to Hong Kong Wetland Park in 2006. After a territory-wide naming contest which resulted in 1,600 entries, the name “Pui Pui” was chosen, meaning “precious.” It’s also a play on words as she was found in the Shan Pui River. In 2003, Hong Kong’s annus horribilis, Pui Pui won the RTHK Personality of the Year Award.

 

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The last tiger in HK that was killed in 1915, after it mauled two policemen. The dead tiger’s head is now on display at the HK Police Museum. It is alleged that there was another tiger killed by internees at Stanley Prison during WW2 in 1942, although it is probable that it was an escaped zoo animal. Photo courtesy of SCMP

 

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Who’s watching who? Photo courtesy of Alamy

 

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Danger. Photo courtesy of Alamy

 

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After an incident where an animal is hit by a car in Ma On Shan, the rest of the herd mourns at the dead animal’s side. Photo courtesy of Rocket News

 

Sarah Richard

Nikhil Gidwani was raised locally and is a proud Hong Konger. After a few years of living and working overseas, he has recently returned to the Asia’s World City. When he’s not working, Nikhil spends much of his time hiking and visiting different parts of Hong Kong in order to find new material for his Instagram page. .

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