Just another day hiking: Gravesite ‘bumburn’, some fruity pics and a dead rat…

My last hike was a few days ago. I hiked from Discovery Bay to Pak Mong and Tung Chung on Sunday, then repeated the same hike again the following day. That’s over 12km and 18k steps per day. Not bad!

I didn’t come across any snakes this time, but I did encounter a dead rat on the trail just before the A Po Long intersection on Monday. Nice. Further along the trail, at my favourite gravesite (if you can have such a favourite, lol), I also spotted a fruiting plant of some kind that I wanted to take photos of for this site.

While I managed to take some (just) okay pics of the fruit, I’m not sure that the photos were entirely worth it, as the trade-off was a nasty case of ‘bumburn’ caused by a misjudged seated hop from a much rougher than expected gravesite wall in order to get to the plant below. Ouch!

My shorts were thankfully undamaged, but it looks like someone took a cheese grater to my lower left butt. :/  One friend joked that it was the dead punishing me for being nosy in their pad, but that’s my favourite gravesite and I’m always respectful! Bummer! Literally in this case, haha.

Anyway, my bumburn is already on the mend and the photos have been posted to my flora page (dead rat included, but to the wildlife page). Turns out it’s a fruiting Abacus Plant of some type. Just remember what those photos entailed. I certainly will! Lol


Boar-ding time? Runaway wild pig sparks chase at Hong Kong airport

Published: Channel NewsAsia, 20 Dec 2016
Link to the original article here

A wayward wild boar led police on a higgledy-piggledy chase at Hong Kong’s international airport on Tuesday afternoon [December 20].

Instagram user Richard Tan posted video of the incident, showing at least four officers trying to corner the boar which had wandered onto the apron of the Chek Lap Kok International Airport.

“It’s running over here! It’s covered in blood,” a man was heard saying in the video.

“Around 2:30 pm, there was a wild pig that entered the restricted area where the planes are parked,” an Airport Authority spokeswoman told AFP. “The airport police unit was mobilised and subdued the pig,” she said, adding that operations at the airport were not affected.

Photographs showed blood on the boar’s snout and mouth as it lay on the ground under the crush of police shields.

It was an adult female, around one metre (three feet) long and weighing around 50 kilograms (110 pounds), local media reported, citing a spokesperson from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

It has reportedly been transferred to an animal management centre to have its wounds inspected. [Update: I have since read that the wild boar was sadly euthanised due to the injuries it sustained in the incident. Couldn’t they have used a tranquiliser gun?]

Wild boars are common in the Hong Kong countryside and occasionally wander into villages and urban areas in search of food. The agriculture department advises people not to approach them as they may become aggressive if threatened.

Hong Kong hikers [and pet dogs] risk getting injured by illegal animal traps, SPCA warns

City this year seized about 180 of such devices, meant to catch wild animals such as snakes and boars, considered to be good for health during winter

Published: SCMP, 15 Dec 2016
Link to the original article here

Hikers run the risk of getting injured by illegal traps meant to catch wild animals, with almost 180 such devices seized across Hong Kong this year, an animal welfare group has said.

The warning came after a young mongrel was caught in a gin trap on a hillside on Mount Parker Road in Tai Tam Country Park at about 12.30pm on Thursday.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the dog’s two rear legs were trapped by the device and it ran off after firemen freed it. Another gin trap and a medium mammal cage were found nearby.

“Baits, including bread, shrimp shell and dog treats, were found scattered around the traps,” a spokeswoman said, adding that the devices were believed to have been set up recently.

Police were treating the case as “cruelty to animals”, with Eastern police district detectives looking into who were setting up the traps.

The SPCA spokeswoman said it had found 56 animal traps, including gin traps, cages and snake traps, over the past three months. They were handed over to the conservation departments.

“Most of the traps were found on hillsides in Tai Po, Sheung Shui, Sai Kung and Sha Tin. The devices were usually hidden under leaves and baits were found near some traps,” she said, adding that some were discovered along walking trails in country parks.

“Walkers could suffer from leg fractures … and animals could have their legs amputated after being injured by such devices,” she said.

Continue reading Hong Kong hikers [and pet dogs] risk getting injured by illegal animal traps, SPCA warns

Site Update: Trail pages coming soon!

I only set up this blog site this week, yet have already created and published (as of today, in fact) all supporting content pages and a few blog posts to get things started. The most important section, however – the trail section – is still a work in progress, so please bear with me and check back soon!

In the meantime, feel free to poke around the rest of the site. I have some decent photos uploaded to the Flora & Fauna pages, which I hope to expand over time, plus some pending blog posts.

Working on this site has actually taken me away from my regular hiking and walking, so the sooner I can get it up to speed, the better for me, too. Can’t believe I’ve been so sedentary, especially these past couple of days in particular. Ugh!

The Accidental Hiker

UPDATE [22 Dec 2016]: The DB Lo Fu Tau trail page is now done, so check it out!

Hong Kong snake catcher grapples with 3.5m python, his biggest in 30 years

Motorists raises the alarm after spotting the huge reptile slithering along road in Tuen Mun

Published: SCMP, 15 Dec 2016
Link to the original article here

A 3.5-metre Burmese python was captured after being found crawling on a carriageway in Tuen Mun in the early hours of Wednesday.

The protected female reptile was spotted by a motorist wriggling along the Ting Kau section of Castle Peak Road near the Royal View Hotel in Ting Kau at about 1.30am.

He called police who in turn sought help from snake catcher Chan Tung-hoi as traffic was disrupted. By the time Chan arrived the python had crawled into bushes and entered a nullah.

The snake catcher quickly captured it but needed help from two officers to lift it into the boot of a police car and take it to Tsuen Wan police station.

The Burmese python weighed more than 50kg and was about 50 years old, according to Tsui Yiu-lam, Chan’s son-in-law. “It is the biggest python he has handled in 30 years,” he said.

Tsui said the snake was likely to be handed to Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Tai Po.

Paraplegic athlete beats all odds to climb Lion Rock in a wheelchair

Published: Coconuts HK, 12 Dec 2016
Link to the original article here

After seeing a group of daredevils walk across an inch-wide rope over the city, we didn’t think it was possible for us to be floored by anybody’s antics at Lion Rock anymore.

Enter Lai Chi-wai.

The four-time winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships had his promising athletic career cut short five years ago after he lost the use of his lower body in a tragic car accident.

Despite his physical limitations, Lai never gave up. While he also began wheelchair boxing, the former Cheung Chau bun-scrambling champion continued regular climbing training with his former teammates, and, inspired by the “Lion Rock spirit” in 2014, vowed to be the first paraplegic to climb the eponymous mountain.

Last Friday, exactly five years after his accident, Lai made good on his word and actually climbed Lion Rock, wheelchair ‘n’ all:

We’re truly stunned.

Continue reading Paraplegic athlete beats all odds to climb Lion Rock in a wheelchair

Daredevils perform incredible balancing act on Lion Rock highline

Published: Coconuts HK, 7 Dec 2016
Link to the original article here

As anyone who’s hiked up Lion Rock knows, the view from the peak is absolutely breathtaking. However, while most are content to just see the view, one group recently blew us all away when they took in the sights while balancing atop what appeared to be little more than a rope, hundreds of metres above the city.

In reality, these daredevils were actually highlining, an extreme version of slacklining (itself a close relation of tightrope walking) which entails anchoring a thin, flat piece of webbing between two high points, and walking from one end to the other. We’re not sure there’s a way to accurately convey the stomach-dropping intensity of the sport in words though, so here’s a fun visual:

Continue reading Daredevils perform incredible balancing act on Lion Rock highline

Hong Kong hiker collapses and dies while tackling ‘treacherous’ Sharp Peak

Signs along the trail warn people of hazards, but department website extols the ‘handsome’ views to be enjoyed from the top

Published: SCMP, 27 Nov 2016
Link to the original article here

A 60-year-old man collapsed and died on a trail in Sai Kung that is so dangerous there are signs along the way warning hikers not to proceed.

The man, surnamed Chan, set out from Chek Keng village for the 468-metre Sharp Peak at noon on Sunday in a group of around 13 and fainted about an hour later.

His friends called police and the Government Flying Service (GFS) was mobilised. Rescuers including a doctor and a nurse arrived at the scene half an hour later.

A GFS spokesman said: “As we were ready to dispatch our team, we were told that he was not breathing and his heart was not beating.”

Another hiker conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Chan as they waited for help. He was loaded onto a helicopter at 1.23pm and six minutes later arrived at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan, where he was later certified dead.

Continue reading Hong Kong hiker collapses and dies while tackling ‘treacherous’ Sharp Peak