Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park
The theme from Amy this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51 is: Unique. I want to post our unique experience in Japan.
Our family went to Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. While in Kyoto, we visited Nara Park.
Nara Park is a public deer park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Established in 1880, it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. The park, including the adjunct temples and gardens, is as large as 1,600 acres.
The wild sika deer are designated as natural treasures. They are freely roaming around the park.
Visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them.
The number of deer grew to around 1,200 in 2008 and created concerns about environmental and crop damage.
During fiscal 2016, 121 people were injured by deer. In 2016 the area around Nara was designated into four different zones, with the outer zones allowing deer to be captured and killed. The culling started in 2017, with a limit of 120 deer to be culled during 2017.
As of July 2017, there were around 1,500 deer living in the park, and at least 164 people had been injured by them in fiscal 2017-2018. Most of them were tourists feeding the deer.
In April 2018 Nara city set up new signs in English, Chinese and Japanese informing tourists that the deer are wild animals and to not tease them during feeding.
I took the following video when a deer bowed to ask for food from visitors.