Meet the sacred Japanese deer dying from plastic consumption

Every year millions of tourists travel to Nara, Japan’s former imperial capital, to pay a visit to the sacred deer that roam its expansive park.

However, six Nara deer have died since March due to plastic consumption; an autopsy showed that one deer had 4.3 kilograms of plastic in its stomach. This isn’t the only hazard threatening the deer here in Nara – 29 died in traffic-related deaths in 2018.

We visited Nara Park to see just how bad the plastic waste situation really is, and to find out why so many are dying on the roads. Would tourists be doing the deer a favour by keeping away?

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