중앙데일리

Pig at the palace causes a stir

Oct 24,2005
A wild pig was spotted and killed yesterday on the grounds of Changgyeong Palace in central Seoul.
The incident was the third recent foray by porcine invaders in the city; on Sept. 29, a pig injured two people in Seoul’s southeastern Gangdong district and on Oct. 19, another one was found in the Gwangjin district, just north of the area where the first pig was spotted.
Yesterday’s incident involved no injuries or destruction of property; after the animal was spotted, palace administrators evacuated the 300 visitors on the grounds and called in 30 hunters and firemen.
The pig, weighing 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and 150 centimeters (5 feet) long, was dispatched about 25 minutes after it was first spotted.
An official at the palace said, “The wild pig apparently lived in the mountains in Seoul and entered the grounds through the adjacent Changdeok Palace grounds.” He said workers at the palace grounds had seen the footprints of a wild pig there on Oct. 19.
A naturalist said that with tigers extinct and bears nearly so in Korea, the pigs face fewer natural predators and have multiplied quickly.
Choi Sung-gyu of the Korea Society for the Protection of Wild Animals said he thought that population pressure was driving more animals into the cities in search of food.
Lee Il-bum, a professor of veterinary science at Konkuk University, had a seasonal explanation for the recent flurry of urbanized pigs. “After the autumn harvest season started, wild pigs’ favorite foods such as sweet potato stems have been running out, and the pigs are moving into villages. In this process, some of them lost their way and ended up in the city.”
According to Environment Ministry, there are about 254,000 wild pigs in the country. They caused damage to crops estimated at 8.2 billion won ($7.7 million) last year. Some experts are urging a culling of the country’s wild pig population.


by Chung Kang-hyun


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