After the beating to death of three young boars with metal pipes, some residents have begun calling for a sort of Sai Kung Forest Rangers force to be set up. It would be an extension of the neighbourhood watch scheme.
Lee Bray, who lives in an isolated house on the edge of the bush in north Sha Kok Mei, said he saw three men with dogs heading into the woods at 4am. He thought this suspicious and perhaps another case of thugs trying to kill pigs for food. “The dogs would be useful for chasing pigs into a bottleneck and a net.”
In the case at Kowloon Reservoir, a hiker found three one-year-old boars in bloodied nets. They had been bludgeoned to death. He spotted a car that he thought might belong to the thugs and gave the registration number to the police. Three arrests were made. A hiker had his finger blown off some years ago by explosives hidden in bait for pigs.
Cruelty to animals is against the law in Hong Kong. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance says anyone who causes unnecessary suffering to an animal can be fined $200,000 and jailed for three years.
The Sai Kung Forest Rangers, if they ever get going, would hike the bush trails looking for agarwood poachers, illegal animal traps, suspicious characters, injured or ill animals and lost or exhausted hikers. They would report to the Police, SPCA or AFCD. Lee, who does this sort of thing anyway with his dogs, suggested Guy Shirra, former police superintendent and operations officer of Friends of Sai Kung, might lead such a volunteer force.
Guy didn’t respond at first. He was deep in the bush hunting for illegal tree cutters.