24 October 2018
Kam Shan Country Park is famous as a sanctuary for macaques. Photo: Reuters
Kam Shan Country Park is famous as a sanctuary for macaques. Photo: Reuters

Police officer arrested for shooting monkeys with airsoft gun

An off-duty police officer was arrested for shooting monkeys with an airsoft gun at the Kam Shan Country Park in Cheung Sha Wan on Sunday night.

He will be charged with cruelty to animals and possession of replica guns, Apple Daily reports.

The officer, surnamed Tang, works at the Ma On Shan police station in a clerical capacity. He had earlier been banned from carrying a service firearm after he was found to have emotional issues, the newspaper said.

Another off-duty officer from the Correctional Services Department, surnamed Mok, was at the country park around 11 p.m. on Sunday when he heard several gunshots and saw a group of macaques scampering to safety at the entrance.

He then called the police after he saw a man standing near a seven-seater van holding a rifle aimed at the monkeys.

Police arrested Tang after an airsoft rifle and 1,000 pellets were found inside his car.

Mak Chi-ho, convenor of an animal rights group, said monkeys have been subjected to many forms of cruelty. He cited the case of a man who pretended to be offering food to a monkey and subsequently grabbed its hands and chopped them off with a knife.

Under the current ordinance against cruelty to animals, offenders could be fined up to HK$200,000 and jailed for up to three years.

Police officers convicted of the offense also face dismissal from the service and loss of pension.

Kam Shan Country Park, also know as Monkey Hill among locals, is famous as a sanctuary for macaques.

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