December 29, 2013

Nara's Deer

As mentioned in the previous post, deer were once seen as sacred, messengers of the gods. Today they are considered a National Treasure, and in Nara, they actually roam freely around the Todaiji complex and Nara Park. 

While this can lead to situations like above, they are generally beloved by visitors.

For 400 yen, you can buy a stack of deer crackers and feed the deer.

You learn about deer pretty quick once you have food in your hand. The aggressive, people-friendly ones trail after people, even taking the crackers out of their hands. If you aren't careful, you will quickly find yourself surrounded by deer that are snapping at you from all sides. Not fun.

And then there are the ones that go out of their way to elude human interaction. This one here even has antlers, a clear sign that no human has gotten close enough to cut them.

This one was just plain weird.

This one was most likely suckling.

Like a pig.

I sought out the human-shy deer to give crackers to, like this adorable fawn.

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