If you travel just about two hours outside of Tokyo to Nara, Japan, you might think you’ve stepped into a Disney movie. If you think about how India feels about cows, you’ll have an idea of how this town feels about deer. They are approximate 1,200 deer roaming their streets. It’s as adorable as it sounds.
Among the temples, shrines (including one of the world’s largest shrines to Buddha) and ancient ruins, these adorable antlered animals are protected as national treasures and safely stray all around the area.
Local folklore claims they were brought to the city 1,300 years ago by a deity named Takemikazuchi.
The killing of a deer in Nara was a capital offense and punishable by death until 1637.
They mostly stick to their park habitat, but many also roam into local businesses.
(via Amusing Planet.)
Unfortunately, their population has grown so rapidly that it’s having a destructive effect on the parks plant life. Their protected status has made it difficult to find a solution, but some options being considered include limiting food sources by fencing areas off and decreasing pregnancy rates with a hormonal treatment or by separating females and males during their mating season.
They’re so used to people, they will approach tourists and locals looking for a little snack. Visiting Nara would be an experience you would never forget!
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