Hong Kong – city of skyscrapers, home to 7.5 million people, visited by nearly ten times that many tourists every year; not all of them human. Giant pythons, cheeky monkeys, Chinese porcupines, belligerent boars, beautiful leopard cats and even extremely endangered pangolins, are infiltrating the financial district and stopping traffic!
How can nature exist in such a metropolis? Welcome to Hong Kong’s wildlife mystery.
In autumn, black kites arrive in Hong Kong city in their thousands to breed near Hong Kong Island’s famous lookout ‘The Peak’, and to feed in Victoria Harbour.
On route to the harbor, some kites take short cuts through strange gaping holes built right in the middle of skyscrapers. Not built for kites, but for dragons!
Hongkongers say dragons live in the mountains. Every day they fly down to the harbor to drink and bathe, bringing positive, powerful energy through the city. The gates help the dragons on their journeys and help the flow of good Feng Shui. Feng Shui connects human dwellings with the energy of the Earth. It is part of the fabric of Hong Kong. This ancient tradition keeps the dragons happy but what about the earthly creatures?
A black kite on the look-out for dead fish patrols the busy harbor. Amongst the fishing boats, a rare sight, a pod of endangered pink dolphins rises to the surface with grace and silence. While in a city park there is mayhem, a tiger has been spotted. It is in fact a leopard cat, just as wild, but not quite as big … and without stripes.
They say that when the dragons close their eyes the world goes dark. But Hong Kong lights up. This is the city that never sleeps, neither does its wildlife. While party animals drink and dance, tiny Japanese pipistrelle bats emerge from secret crevices in buildings to hunt insects. And as the night grows wilder, rogue porcupines and wild boars patrol the streets.
There are places where city sounds and lights hardly penetrate, in forests where centuries old banyan trees trap the darkness. Here, Indian muntjac deer, giant Burmese pythons, leopard cats and even the extremely rare and endangered pangolin, forage and hunt.
These forests are sacred; they are the Feng Shui Woods. For centuries they have survived drought, severe land clearing, wars and revolutions. What makes them so special? What role do they play in this wildlife mystery – in Hong Kong, where dragons and wildlife live side by side?
Written and directed by Ruth Berry
Executive producers: Sabine Holzer,
1 x 50 min.,
4K, 5.1 + Stereo