Japan’s famous Nara deer face capture

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Tokyo, Aug 1 (IANS) The free-roaming deer of Nara, Japan, famous for their endearing boldness and their apparent habit of bowing to get snacks, are facing possible capture if they wander too far out of town, the media reported on Tuesday.

Locals, particularly farmers, have been complaining that growing numbers of sika deer are encroaching on fields and eating crops, reports the BBC.

So the city has authorised the use of traps to remove the animals.

Nara is a small city south of Kyoto where over 1,200 deer have made it their home, mostly congregating in central Nara Park.

Once considered sacred, the deer are now classified as a national treasure and are protected by law.

Last year, the authorities said the deer were causing about 6 billion yen ($54 million) in damage to regional agriculture annually.

“Nara has a long history of people living side by side with deer in harmony,” one local government official told the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun.

“We want to continue efforts to coexist in peace while preventing damage to crops.”

–IANS

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