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Home / It's Viral / Oh, deer! Animals wander streets of this tourist town in Japan. See pics

Oh, deer! Animals wander streets of this tourist town in Japan. See pics

All of Nara is suffering with its UNESCO World Heritage Site listed temples shuttered as Japan fights the virus. All except the deer.

it-s-viral Updated: Mar 25, 2020 12:22 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
NARA, Japan
Two deer walk past a souvenir shop near Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan.
Two deer walk past a souvenir shop near Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan. (AP)

Tours are canceled. Restaurants are empty. And centuries-old temples are quieter than usual in the ancient capital city of Japan, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

All of Nara is suffering with its UNESCO World Heritage Site listed temples shuttered as Japan fights the virus.

All except the deer. The daily life of the town’s ‘treasured animal remains virtually unchanged.

While most deer stay within the boundaries of their grassy park, some wander off to gift shops and restaurants across the street from the park. The deer have the right of way, and drivers honor it.

A tourist pat a deer in Nara, Japan.
A tourist pat a deer in Nara, Japan. ( AP )

Fewer tourists only means a bit more competition for the sugar-free treats or “deer crackers,” which are mostly made of wheat flour.

A deer cuddles with a tourist at Kofukuji temple in Nara.
A deer cuddles with a tourist at Kofukuji temple in Nara. ( AP )

A stack of crackers runs out fast when a dozen deer swarm around a generous feeder, nodding their heads as if they are giving a Japanese-style bow.

Surrounded by deer, a tourist shows her empty hands after feeding them crackers, treats made mostly with wheat flour and rice bran, near Todaiji temple in Nara.
Surrounded by deer, a tourist shows her empty hands after feeding them crackers, treats made mostly with wheat flour and rice bran, near Todaiji temple in Nara. ( AP )

When done feeding, simply hold up your empty hands toward the deer. They will magically disperse.

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