Just when you think you've seen most things in Hong Kong, someone comes along and does something awful to remind you that you ain't seen nothing yet.
Such as ring girdling (a.k.a. ring barking) trees: slashing tree bark to a depth that prevents the tree from transporting nutrients. In other words, the tree dies a slow death from starvation. And when it's three 20-metre-high swamp mahoganies that have been sliced open, it's only a matter of time before they wither and topple.
Why would people do this? Because the trees were blocking the view of the beach for a few residents of low-rise buildings. The ring girdling now gives folks the right to apply for removal of the trees owing to potential danger to life and property, danger that didn't exist until jerks with saws went to work.
Now yes, when compared with human suffering the world over, ring girdling trees seems insignificant.
But it's a reminder that when it comes to the treatment of other life forms on our planet, as a species human beings have a few members with a different sort of ring problem.