A friendly wild bull which had been named Billy by locals and tourists in Pui O on Lantau Island and had a Facebook fan page has been found dead with its stomach filled with plastic bags.

The eight-year-old Billy was found dead in a wetland on Lantau Island on Saturday, according to its Facebook page.

The Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department posted a Facebook message to announce the death of the beloved animal, adding that after an autopsy, it was discovered that Billy’s stomach was filled with plastic bags, enough to fill a rubbish bin, and that caused his death.

Billy was one of a number of wild cattle on the island which usually grazed on grassland in Pui O, on the south side of Lantau. The AFCD’s post said the friendly bull was likely fed by tourists on the beaches and at nearby campsites in recent years, which changed his eating habits and creating an association between plastic and food.

The department urged people not to feed buffalos and cattle in the countryside. As feral animals, they are capable of feeding themselves in the wild, it said. People should also take all their rubbish back to town and not to leave it in the countryside or rural areas, some people commenting online said.

Billy had a fan page titled “Billy – the Pui O legendary cow!” on Facebook.

Billy’s mother had been killed by a car when he was only a few months old. After that, he had been attacked by dogs and suffered serious injuries before being nursed by vets and regaining his health. Since then, Billy became used to humans and later joined a buffalo herd on the beach in Pui O area.

His gentle personality had won the hearts of many Lantau residents.