Deer in Japanese city forced to venture outside of parks in search of food as tourist numbers drop

Greg Evans
Sunday 15 March 2020 09:00
news

Deer in the Japanese city of Nara are being forced out of their natural habitats in search of food as tourists numbers have dwindled because of the spread of coronavirus.

The deer would usually be fed by visitors to the city who would buy rice crackers from local vendors in parks. The number of tourists would usually mean that they wouldn't have to leave the vicinity of the park.

While visitor numbers would usually be high the pandemic has forced people to stay away, in turn forcing the deer to leave their usual surroundings and venture further into the city in search of food.

Images of the deer feasting on the grass in the city centre and in the train station have been shared by local on social media, who admit they have never seen the creatures act like this before.

News reports also show distressed deer wandering the streets of the city while concerned drivers slow down and try to avoid hitting them.

The Shunie festival usually takes place in the city between March 1 and 14 where the deer would have been fed plenty but with tourists falling by 80 per cent their hunger has forced them to resort to these methods.

Reports have stated that this type of behaviour shouldn't be a great concern to locals though. The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation have said that this isn't the first time that the deer have roamed into the city centre but have no data to suggest how much the deer population has grown in the last year.

At the time of writing, Japan has confirmed more than 800 cases of coronavirus and 22 deaths since the virus was first reported in the country on January 16.

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