The plastic menace has come back to haunt us again. This time, it is no longer in the marine world but on land.
The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation, in an interview, mentioned that they had found huge amounts of plastic bags in the stomach and throat of a few deer that died. It is indeed quite sad, that around 9 deer out of 14 perished in 4 months from consumption of such plastic.
One such deceased animal was said to contain around 4 kgs of such rubbish present in their body.
The deer that died is the Sika deer- thought to be a national treasure and is under the protection of the law. Nara in itself is a very popular tourist destination, that has around 1200 of such free-roaming deer.
The rule dictates that tourists are permitted to feed the animals crackers which are specially made and are completely free of sugar. But it could be possible that the tourists fed them something else when the deer gathered around the shrine and the temples in the centre.
Speaking to Kyodo News Agency, Rie Maruko of the Nara Deer Preservation Foundation stated that most of the times, tourists leave behind plastic packages and bags on the grounds where the deer roam. Then, the deer smell the plastic bags and thinking it to be food, swallow them.
The foundation recently posted a picture of the amount of plastic found in the body of a deer, on Twitter.
— 一般財団法人奈良の鹿愛護会 (@nara_aigokai) March 28, 2019
It is believed that the deer died from starvation after its body became filled with plastic, and blocked the food passage. After the news, volunteers came in large numbers to clear out the place, collecting almost 31 kgs of plastic and other waste.
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The authority at Nara has decided to delve deep into the deaths of the animals and put up illustrations everywhere about the hazards of leaving plastics behind. However, the new law is still waiting to be passed.
Maybe it’s not only the law but personal responsibility that will bring about a change.