A viral video on Facebook has sparked The Great Boar Debate of 2018, which some – who care about these things – have dubbed BoarGate.
A giant boar and his herd of mini boars were spotted scrambling through some dumpsters right by a local primary school and – of course – the parents aren’t happy.
You can watch the footage in the clip below:
The boorish (sorry) animal can be seen standing on the tips of his (or her?) trotters as the big pig eats food directly from the bin as a group of smaller pigs surrounds the head honcho.
The video, which was uploaded on Tuesday February 6, has been shared 4,600 times and had 302,000 views, at the time of writing.
Many online observers were shocked at the size of the pig, with one dubbing it 'pigzilla' - can you fat shame a pig? - while others expressed concerns for the nearby students at the school in Hong Kong.
Denys Ho, was either impersonating the pig or thinking of his stomach, when he wrote:
I'm looking for dinner.
Misaki Ceci, more concerned about the pig's proximity to the school, commented:
The Wild Pig is in front of the left school. I'm careful with Hyung-Hyung's primary school, and I've got a wild boar.
Many thought the pig, who seems quite happy left to his own devices, was feral, but most animal-loving members of Facebook expressed sympathy for the obviously hungry boar.
Wong Cho Ching wrote:
It's so hungry, and the wild boar has the right to live and freedom. He is only hungry.
Wild pigs - who are native to Hong Kong but had their habitat crushed by urbanisation - have a bad reputation locally for being dangerous, raiding garbage and damaging crops, reports Hong Kong Free Press.
Yet a team of six locals are fighting to challenge public misconceptions about the city’s largest wild animal, lead by surveyor and animal rights activist Roni Wong.
He founded the Wild Boar Concern Group in 2013 with a friend, after they stumbled across a citizen-led wild boar hunting team in Tai Wai.
They intervened and prevented the killing.
Wong told HKFP:
Wild boars have been demonised by hunters, local media and people who misunderstand them.
In fact, if you don’t provoke them, they will not attack you. They are actually afraid of people.
The group advocates co-existence with wild pigs.
It says many instances of human-wildlife conflict can be prevented, such as by removing food sources near residences.
Elisa Allen, Director of PETA UK told UNILAD:
Wild animals face ever-increasing danger as human activities encroach on their natural habitats – that's why this enterprising boar has been forced to resort to scavenging for food in rubbish bins in order to survive.
Animals in Hong Kong and elsewhere are under immense pressure as a result of shifting landscapes, road building, and other developments. We need to focus on responsible town planning and effective, non-lethal methods for keeping wild animals away from urban centres.
Otherwise, they'll continue to find themselves in situations that endanger themselves or others – through no fault of their own.
A common measure seen in villages is building enclosures around garbage bins.
Meanwhile, locals still don't welcome the presence of these creatures.