Roaring beast heard in northeast New Territories

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    I received this email from a HK Outdoors member:

    I had a strange experience on saturday. I was on the trail to Lai Chi Wo. (very deep New Territories). It was on the stairs out of So Lo Pun.

    Something roared at me.

    It was a few feet in front of me, but hidden out of sight.

    It was on a steep trail with very thick undergrowth on each side. Then there was a huge commotion, as I presume it departed quickly.

    This was the noise of a big cat. It wasn’t a full-blooded lion’s roar, but it was throaty in that same style, and deep in tone.

    Would a leopard cat make that deep noise, or could this be something bigger?

    As you can imagine, I was petrified, but had to go on, because I had to finish the trail.

    I passed to Paul Crow, at Kadoorie Farm, and he replied:

    Great fun,

    My best educated guess having also come across similar roars is that this was probably a surprised wild boar.  They can sound a lot like a bear/large cat and produce a pretty blood curdling spine chilling  guttural sound.  And surprise surprise my most powerful memory of this was during the  Frontier Closed area survey work KFBG did a few years back  where I was camera trapping from  Kuk Po thru Yeung Shue Au to So Lo Pun- Somewhere on that trail I met my BearCat too!

    I confirmed boar visibly and from sign but Henry and I  listened for quite some time to the growls of the big cat we were hearing until we managed to catch a glimpse.

    I replied:

    Thanks for this info; might solve Simon’s mystery.

    I’d thought wild boar would have only pig sounds; but a tiger type roar would be good I guess – a predator hearing this would likely think twice about going further!

    Interesting if is actual mimicry (albeit genetically built in)

    and again from Paul:

    I think in the heat of the moment when both parties get a fright the sound they make can be made and interpreted in a wider range of ways, but they really can growl well at you – we know from working with the captive ones here at KFBG. If you upset of frighten them , push them in a corner they will really vocalize and let you know,


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