In early February, Hong Kong’s feral cow epidemic made international news. Of the 1,100 wild cows that now roam the city’s streets, four decided to help themselves to the produce section of a local grocery store in Mui Wo. The intrusion was unexpected, to say the least.
The incident occurred on February 7, around 8 PM. Local newspaper Ming Pao reported that the animals entered the Fusion grocery store and headed straight for the fruit and vegetable shelves.
Footage posted to Facebook shows shoppers awkwardly standing around, trying to assess how to handle the situation. The store’s staff and patrons eventually corralled the cattle and moved them out of the store.
Posted by Stephen Law on Thursday, February 7, 2019
According to District Councillor Andy Wong, there are about 30 wild cows in Mui Wo. Additionally, this isn’t the first time he’s heard of one breaking into a shop. Considering how often the cows are fed fruit, he is concerned similar scenarios may occur in the future.
For the most part, citizens in Hong Kong tolerate the wild animals. After all, the feral cow problem is largely due to rapid urban expansion and development. As an article, published in the South China Morning Post last year, explains, many species were forced out of their habitats. As a result, they now wander in populated communities.
Said Ho Loy, chairwoman to the Lantau Buffalo Association:
“Lots of people think it’s annoying to have these cows roaming onto traffic roads. But they don’t understand that these sites were where the cows and their predecessors used to eat and live before the landscapes were covered with cement and turned into city roads.”
Following the supermarket incident, a spokesperson for the company that owns the Fusion grocery store said that all of the produce was destroyed after the cow raid. The shelves have also been thoroughly cleaned.
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