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Deer in Japan's Nara died with numerous plastic bags in stomach

23 Comments

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Well, perhaps this will push Japan to take some serious steps about reducing single use plastics. With this being a tourist area you can bet that every souvenir is wrapped three times in single use plastic.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Retrict the area for the deer in a grass area. Stop all people from feeding them. The Nara deer are no longer wild.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The deers are wild and aggressive, so I think that some mightve yanked the plastic bag from the tourists and maybe the tourists didnt pull it back (one reason). The tourists need to be better educated and Nara prefecture should do more to protect the deer.

The amount of tourists compared to 10 years ago is completely different now so they need to implement some strategies to protect the deer better.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The article clearly says twice its accidental. The deer see people taking things from plastic bags so they associate the bags with food. Then they eat them when they find them and you bet they often still smell of food or have food still in them. I live in the boonies and there is plastic blowing on the wind and sometimes even bags full of stuff by the road apparently thrown from cars.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Nara deer are so conditioned to being hand-fed and so trusting of what eat that they'll eat anything. This one good reason why feeding the Nara deer should be banned. Another good reason is that Nara dear are aggressive because they have been spoiled by generations of well-meaning but ignorant tourists. I can recall at least one incident when a tourist was gored to death by a mother dear protecting her young.

The big problem is the Kawai-ii culture that prevails in Japan. Japanese are brought up on cute animal stories, cartoons and movies. Thanks to this, Japanese (urban Japanese anyway) see nature as "cute." I've seen Japanese tourists at Nara squeal, "Kaaaa-waiiii---iiii" at the deer. When the deer get aggressive, they get scared and shriek, "Iiiiiii! Kawai, Kawai!"

Nature is not cute and the Nara deer are not cute. They are essentially wild animals that have made some sort of necessary peace with humans because they have become dependent on humans.

Feeding any animal out of a plastic bag is stupid. Feeding the deer out hand is dangerous for the feeder and the fed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ban the feeding of animals like other parks throughout the world. Simple. Have fines for those who feed the animals.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In 2017 there were 16 million visitors. 2 million were visitors from overseas. Mostly other Asians. Japanese people and visitors also drop plastic bags rather than getting them home. My local river has many plastic bags throw out from cars.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I suspect this is the result of teaching generations of localized deer to associate humans with free food. They're supposed to graze, not eat official deer cookies or anything else out of someone's hand.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ban plastic bags. Other countries have done it, not difficult for a city. If you are carrying/using a plastic bag in Nara it should attract a large on the spot fine. That will cut the number overnight.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The solution could be simple. Sell the feed in small buckets/pots and when the user returns it to the vendor, they get some kind of refund.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are more deer than before because the mayor of Nara wants to increase the numbers of visitors, especially from overseas.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

More deer are killed every year, about 30 of them why Japanese car drivers.

The mayor can take actions but refuses to do anything which might reduce the number of visitors.

Resrtict the area used for deers. Ban feeding them. Or provide enough trash cans. Ban plastic bags in Nara.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yes, restrict the deer to a certain area (put bamboo walls up, for example), and feeding must be done from a reusable bucket.

Ban plastic bags in the city as well.

The deer eat anything, as said; they took my A4 guide paper and ate it, and ate a tourist's map in front of me as well. They've become like goats, so they can't have any trash around them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a local, I would like to see sightseeing, but I would like you to consider the wholeness and well, and hope for a better mutual environment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stop having the deer fed by anyone other than the park.

Have trash bins more readily available so plastic with the scent of food on it

is not left on the ground.

Both ideas call for more money spent on the park, so next thing is,

a rise in ticket cost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the essential value of deer in Nara park depends on the situation that deer and human are on the same place very naturally with the beautiful view of Nara. So I think it's not a good idea to separate deer and human. I expect the action of the local government which understands the life of deer well. And of course let's quite feeding deer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only other place I know of with deer and people is Richmond Park near London. The deer are restricted to the park area and are not allowed to go wandering around Richmond town which would cause chaos. It was originally a deer hunting park.

It has 300 Red Deer and 350 fallow deer. People are warned to keep at least 50 meters away from the deer at all times. Don’t touch, feed or attempt to photograph the deer at close range. Feeding of the deer is not allowed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fence, if they choose to put it, will be at least 5 km long for 3 sides, the fourth is the mountain and they will still be road going through. Not sure people using these will be so pleased to have to deal with the new rules. We are talking about Nara deer so they are nearer cow in India than crow.

The ban of plastic bags should be the more efficient. All shops only give "can be eaten by deer" paper bag. Trash container are mandatory : no trash bag to be seen in the street even with the crow net on top of it. The city can provide it (cheaper to buy a big lot than individual, can be choose with professional using it, can add ecofriendly/economy boost criteria,...) and the people get a renting one (meaning if needed it will be replaced for free or not depending of the reason).

I do not get the obsession for fine. Stuff happen which can explain why do people have a plastic bag. Just reach to them explaining no plastic bag is to be seen so they have to hide it and if they have nothing else sell them some official non plastic at production cost or with a tiny profit which will go to the deer protection agency. Given a proper explanation most people will obviously understand and adjust, they are not ass. If they refuse they go to a trip to the post office, get there plastic bag destroyed and a fine in bonus if they still do not understand.

Plastic plate and the like should also be ban if it is not already. Having takoyaki put in a plastic box is also a problem. So food should also be put in deer eating friendly container and given with a deer eating friendly trash bag which could be given to any shop, temple, ... in the area to be disposed of since I do not think having more trash can is such a good idea if they are in the open.

I talk about "deer eating friendly" not that I want them to be feed with these but deer can be quite determinated to get your bag so ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Banning plastic bags would certainly help.

I doubt they will ban the feeding because they will see it as part of the appeal of going there. Temples and shrines are nice, but its better if you can also feed some animals and post a selfie on Instagram.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pigiulio - The deers are wild and aggressive, so I think that some mightve yanked the plastic bag from the tourists and maybe the tourists didnt pull it back (one reason). 

4.2 kilos of plastic is not accidental. It is consequential.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't bring plastics into the area - bring biodegradable containers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zichi

(In reference to Richmond Park...

Don’t touch, feed or attempt to photograph the deer at close range.

A fine plan, but it involves a flaw: it depends on the cooperation of humans.

There was an article a few years ago about a dozen tourists surrounding a bear to take close up photos on Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula. If a bear doesn’t frighten people enough to keep their distance, will Nara’s deer?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see a lot of people's first reaction was to drag out the ban hammer and insist it be slammed down. End that practice. Ban this. Stop that. Levy fines. As always, I am happy that these people have zero control over our freedom here. I hope solutions will be found that allow people to enjoy feeding these deer safely. Such interactions with animals are many people's first spark of empathy, and modern society needs it badly...take those whose first reaction is to always drag out the ban hammer for example.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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