Deer in Japan's Nara died with numerous plastic bags in stomach
Japan Today -- Jul 10
Numerous plastic bags were found in the stomachs of more than half of the 14 wild deer that have died in Nara Park in western Japan since March, prompting the local government to take action to protect them.

According to the Nara Deer Preservation Foundation, nine deer have died after swallowing plastic bags. Masses of tangled up plastic litter and packets of snacks were retrieved from their stomachs, with the heaviest amount weighing 4.3 kilograms.

Their habit of eating plastic bags is likely to be linked to the fact that tourists take food from such bags to feed the deer, according to Rie Maruko, a veterinarian who belongs to the animal conservation group.

Deer learn that such bags contain food, or are tempted by the smell coming from the discarded packages, leading them to accidently eat the objects, Maruko said.

More than 1,000 deer roam in the vast park and tourists are allowed to feed them with digestive and sugar-free deer crackers, or "shika sembei" in Japanese, which are sold in nearby shops and do not use plastic wrapping.

But some tourists are apparently giving the deer other snacks.

Deer, usually feeding on grass, are ruminants and have a four-chambered stomach. If their first chamber is filled up with nondigestive objects, they are not able to digest them or discharge them from their bodies.

As a result, these deer may have died from malnutrition and weakened immune systems, among other factors.

News source: Japan Today
Jun 04
Two Yomiuri Giants players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Central League team announced Wednesday, casting a shadow over Nippon Professional Baseball's plan to start the 2020 season on June 19. (Japan Today)
Jun 04
Japan has reported 31 new confirmed COVID-19 cases with the total reaching 17,031, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities on Wednesday. (china.org.cn)
Jun 04
Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo will open a new outlet Friday in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood, marking a homecoming eight years in the making to the city's vibrant hub for youth fashion. (Nikkei)
Jun 03
Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has effectively given up on plans to change the start of the nation's school year from April to September. (NHK)
Jun 03
A hearing at a Tokyo court was suspended for hours on Tuesday after defense lawyers refused to wear face masks. (NHK)
Jun 03
Japan approved Tuesday a PCR coronavirus test using saliva, which is much safer and easier compared with the currently dominant method, which collects mucus from the back part of the nose. (Japan Times)
Jun 03
Experts in Japan are calling on people to use face masks cautiously in the summer when the risk of heatstroke increases. (NHK)
Jun 02
Japan is considering easing entry bans on people from four Asia-Pacific countries where coronavirus infections are now apparently under control. (NHK)
Jun 02
Regulations to protect workers in Japan from abusive bosses and colleagues took effect Monday to criticism that it only provides a road map to desk-bound bullies. (Nikkei)
Jun 02
Many tourist spots across Japan reopened Monday, a week after the full lifting of a state of emergency, with precautions in place against the novel coronavirus amid growing concern over a second wave of infections. (Kyodo)