“Little Tommy” may finally win his freedom after being in the protective custody of the Hong Kong government for more than six months.
We’re not talking about any human being here, but rather a wild boar that found itself at the center of an animal cruelty investigation last year.
A local court on Wednesday cleared the boar’s owner of mistreating the animal, prompting the man to seek repossession of his “pet” from authorities and promising to release it into the wild after imparting the necessary “survival training”.
Shing Wing-biu, aged 63 years, had kept the wild boar as a pet after finding it covered in dog bites. He was arrested last November as he was walking the animal along the Sai Kung waterfront and allegedly beating and kicking it.
Prosecutors said that on that same day the pig has bitten a passer-by, who suffered minor abrasions. The victim did not pursue the issue after receiving an apology from Shing on the spot.
A defense lawyer stressed that Shing may have given light kicks but never mistreated the animal, an argument which the judge accepted, paving the way for the ‘not guilty’ verdict.
The court said the prosecutor failed to prove that the scars on “Little Tommy” were caused by Shing’s mistreatment.
The boar has been in police custody under the watch of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department since Shing’s arrest in November last year.
Shing said he will ask authorities to return the animal, and that he plans to release it into the wild after giving him some survival training.
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