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Japan's Famous Nara Deer Are Dying Because Tourists Accidentally Feed Them Plastic Bags

Since March, six deer have died from ingesting plastic bags.

Cover image via Alessio Ferretti on Unsplash/Twitter @nara_aigokai (Edited by SAYS)

The residents of Japan's famous Nara Deer Park are dying - all because tourists are littering the park with plastic bags

SoraNews24 reported the Nara Deer Welfare Association saying that there have been multiple deaths of the park's famous residents in recent months. 

Since March this year, at least six deer have died from having plastic bags in their stomachs.

In one occasion, the deer was found to have a 3.2kg clump of polyethylene bags in its stomach - though the biggest amount recorded since March is 4.3kg

"What do you think this is? This is a lump of plastic bags from the stomach (ruminal) of the dead deer," the association tweeted. 

In a blog post, the association added, "Unfortunately in Nara Park, we often see trash being thrown around. There are no trash cans in Nara Park, so there are people who throw away plastic bags with food. When the deer smells the food, they eat the plastic bags."

"Please do not throw away plastic bags when you go to Nara Park."

To curb the problem, the association developed an environmentally-friendly bag to be used while feeding the deer

Image via @nara_aigokai

Retailing at 1,350 yen (approximately RM51), the 'Otomo' bag is made out of mosquito net fabric and bears an adorable pattern that mimics a deer's bag.

It can be washed after use and is light enough to be folded into small shape, which makes it easy to carry it around.

Also makes for a great Japanese souvenir!

Deer are not the only creatures affected by senseless dumping of plastic bags:

Meanwhile, we hope the deer over at Miyajima island are safe:

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