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Deer-related injuries in Nara reach record number already this year


The number of people who were injured in deer-related incidents in Nara Park was 209 in the past month, already a record high. Nara prefectural authorities are urging people to be careful when feeding deer with rice crackers and other food so as not to provoke the animals.

Nara Park is home to wild deer that are national treasures of Japan, making it a popular tourist spot. However, according to Nara Prefecture, the number of people injured by being kicked or bitten by deer was 209 at the end of January, which surpasses 186, the number of people who were injured throughout the whole period of last year, Fuji TV reported. Five foreign tourists were among those injured.

Of the number, eight people suffered serious injuries, including broken bones.

Usually, the most injuries occur from September to November, during the mating season when the deer become more aggressive.

The park has set up an information center that advises tourists in several languages on how to treat the deer. Patrols are also making the rounds around the park every day.

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Deer related injuries, yeah right, blame the deer, it's the "humans" that are the problem.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

Too many people interacting with them. They are a wild animal and capable of inflicting serious injuries. I fear it’s onky a matter of time before deaths are attributed to these deer.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The deer may have been frightened and upset by too many tourists visiting the Nara Park.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The deer will be culled before the park is closed.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Leave the deers alone and feed them with appropriate food

Saw so many people acting like if it was a cat or a pet and giving them junk food. And still having the food in their hands, the deers were chasing them

Not surprising some people get in return what they are looking for : making a deer angry !

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Been going to Nara for nearly 20 years and I started taking my daughter when she was 2. She has always fed the deer without any problems. That said, unchecked tourism and treating wild animals like they're in a petting zoo was always bound to cause problems.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Oh deer god.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

I did not know deer in Nara are not in pens.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

The deer in Nara are nasty and messy creatures which roam wherever they like because they're gods. Did you know?

Was there on a rainy November day and the streets were slimy with their waste. Disgusting.

And yes, humans feeding them are most of the problem. My colleague was bitten on the knee and badly bruised. Why? Because she had bought two packets of crackers to feed the adorable (to her) things. The first was snatched in one gulp, and she had trouble opening the second packet she held in her hands. Not getting what it wanted fast enough the beast let her know.

Not exactly her fault, but certainly reason enough to be vigilant and wary. I would never allow a 2 year-old feed them and risk a broken hand or arm. I give them a wide berth wherever they roam freely.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Deer-related injuries in Nara reach record number already this year

Oh dear!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

That said, unchecked tourism and treating wild animals like they're in a petting zoo was always bound to cause problems.

Get ready for more, as Nara is a popular destination for tourists and Abe and company want over 10 million more foreign tourists to come to Japan within the next few years.

This problem is only going to get worse!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Stupid people increase number of deer-human related incidents

There fixed the title!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I quite sure those people tried to pet the deers despite the sign saying not to.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Got bit by one of the deer there. Fed a deer one of those deer crackers then it began nuzzling my pockets for more and bit my ass when it found the other cracker in my back pocket before I could get away. I was deer-related incident 117 in 2004.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How about you just leave the deer alone?!/-/

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Hmmm, venison shushi, to replace pork if they're not carful.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Been there once many years ago with the J-wife and kids. It was fun but I made sure the kids were safe as the deer were trying to go for their hands because they are fed by humans which is not a good thing. I wonder if Nara has any restaurants serving venison (it's good wild meat) like the area on Izu Hanto where you can watch boar racing and then get a nice boar stew afterwards.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They may be cute but just leave them alone and no feeding. Simple guideline regarding animals at any site to follow.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saw this news on tv this morning.........blaming Chinese tourists of course.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

it's not dears’ fault...the main causes is tourists. Be gentle for dears please, don’t tease them and let them alone

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Similar problem at Itsukushima Jinja, Miyajima. Maybe the authorities should allocate designated baskets in which to place food, i.e. strictly no feeding by hand.

The deer in these tourist spots can become quite aggressive, and lightning quick.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Im pretty sure the deer attacked youtubers sticking their cameras or phones right up to the deers face or provoking them with silly acts

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Generally they're harmless animals

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't take much time to feed deer. Given quickly and show empty hands, deer will never follow and injure visitors.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That's a sharp increase in attacks.

I wonder what the trigger is. They are not attacking foreign tourists in big numbers, so that rules out the most obvious suspect. At most places, domestic tourism is down every year with the shrinking/aging population. So I wonder what has started this off now. Could it be a handful of Alpha deer doing the attacks?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love Nara but I've never bought the deer crackers. Never had a problem. I don't approach (they often approach me looking hopeful, when they realize I haven't got crackers, they tend to keep a distance--the distance they are most comfortable with I assume) and use a zoom lens for photos, like I do when taking pictures of any other wild animal. But I see so many people with crackers in one hand, phone in the other, teasing them to get photos, even putting arms around them to take selfies...getting all up in the deer's space and then feeding it while distracted can't be good. If you don't have food or crackers on your person, you can get a better sense of the distance they prefer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Had a run in last night with an over two meter male deer. Quite scary but rescued by a big dog. Be careful.

True story...met a red neck kiwi dude in a bar in Kyoto. He was wearing an all black jersey and a black eye. Asked why he had the black eye. Just for fun, he punched the nara deer in the head and knocked it down. He was so proud until a small mob of Japanese did the same to him.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The deer are finally fighting back.

How many of those injured were foreigners?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

they already cut all the deer horns..

I think the problem is the cracker selling vendors are in the crowded roads.

Maybe if they only strictly sell the crackers in the open grass park it would be better idea

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You have to remember, they are not Bambi

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People should not be feeding wild animals. The deer population should be kept in check through culling and hunting if there are no natural predators. Deer are prey animals. They breed fast and can overrun the area if not kept in check.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Hardly "wild", more like semi-domesticated. The only way to control these beasts would be to introduce cougars into the environment, which of course, could have adverse and unexpected consequences.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Its probably about time they had a structured/managed cull, this would cut down on the attacks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Its probably about time they had a structured/managed cull

You mean cut the number of tourists?


0 ( +3 / -3 )

Almost got a big buck near Mt Fuji last Saturday. We were coming up a hill and had the sunlight right in our eyes when it saw us. Couldn't get a shot in time, just too quick. But, now we know where he lives. I'm sure he'll be back around there again.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Time also to study if any human contact may have contributed to the spread of any illnesses borne by the dear deer.

Also Japan as a whole must study the need to control the "population" of all wild animals allowed to or even prevented from coming into human contact. The problem with bird influenza and other diseases spread by wild animals can become a major epidemic if not properly controlled in this very compact and heavily populated island country.

The injuries indicate a "relationship" problem between "wild" animals and "domesticated" animals. So, may also be time to "domesticate"... meaning "train" those deer to become "dears".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh Deer !!!! How Deer you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dang, people. It's "DEER", a group uncountable noun. Not "deers" and for sure, not "dear" or "dears". /Grammar police off.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah , I live close to the temple and for the most part it is the bad manners and lack of awareness of the Chinese tourists . . I’ve had friends from China who I’ve taken to visit the temple try to get angry and hit the deer because they beg so insistently. Lived in China over 20 years the lack of self awareness and understanding of normal social norms is severely lacking in large swaths of that country .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not the deer's fault for protecting themselves from the animals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm curious what the percentage of these deer are sick with COVID-19, it's a big issue in a lot of the North American white tail populations so I expect it could be high. I'm not sure if it can be transfered between deer and humans but doubt people would take the poor animals health into account when they are sick and want to pet/feed one.

I also imagine a lot of the attacks occur when the deer are close and the person feeding makes a sudden quick movement, as friendly as they are it's very easy to scare any animal with a quick movement when they are within a range they normally wouldn't venture without bait or treats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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