As tourism in Japan declines due to COVID-19, herds of deer head to streets, train station for food
Herds of deer in Nara, which houses some of Japan’s most famous tourist destinations, have been found wandering the streets and a train station as the number of tourists declines amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The deer mainly get their food from tourists visiting Nara Park.
They were spotted by residents looking for food in places they do not frequent, as per Tele-Asa via Sora News 24 yesterday, March 13.
Prior to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the grass-filled Nara Park and its surrounding areas were home to the herds of free-roaming deer.
Residents told local news outlets that they have been seeing deer eat shrubs and flowers on sidewalks, something they claimed the animals did not do before. These unusual cases are being reported as Japan and the entire world scramble to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Some Japanese citizens have taken to Twitter to share the news to the public by showing their own photos and snippets of TV coverages of the phenomenon.
— 卑屈な奈良県民bot (@nntnarabot) March 8, 2020
The deer have also been spotted at Nara Station, which is reportedly a 20-minute walk from the park, Twitter user @takamoriWebtube posted on March 8.
— Web系YouTuberタカモリ (@takamoriWebtube) March 7, 2020
Another citizen with the Twitter handle @lovemaruchanday, meanwhile, urged others to feed the wandering deer, sharing another photo of the deer near Nara Station on March 2.
— まるちゃん (@lovemaruchanday) March 1, 2020
The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation, however, said that there are no data yet to confirm that the lack of tourists feeding the deer is the cause of all of this, according to the report.
This is not the first case of its kind, however, as hundreds of monkeys in Thailand have also been spotted roaming the streets and looking for food as tourist numbers decline due to the pandemic. /ra
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