Deer in Nara park eating grass again because there are no tourists to feed them crackers

Beggars can't be choosers.

Julia Yeo | February 10, 2020, 03:06 PM

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-NCoV) from Wuhan has seen plummeting numbers of tourists in several countries, especially in Asia.

Tourist attractions in Japan have taken a hit, including Kyoto.

However, it seems that not only tour guides and shopkeepers around tourist attractions have found the sudden disappearance of tourists troubling.

Deer back to eating grass because no tourists to feed them

On Feb. 9, a Weibo user shared a photo of a Japanese television program, which talked about how declining numbers of tourists had somewhat forced the deer in Nara Park to "eat grass again".

Translation:

"A news program yesterday said that the deer at Nara started eating grass due to the declining number of tourists.

Eating...grass?

Don't they normally eat grass?"

For context, Nara city is famous for its wild deer, which reside largely around Nara Park, a tourist attraction.

Visitors may buy rice crackers called "shika senbei" from shopkeepers in the vicinity to feed the deer.

The deer politely "bow" in gratitude when presented with the crackers.

Twitter user @nibe111 shared a photo of a hoard of deer crowding around a stall selling rice crackers, waiting for tourists to buy some.

https://twitter.com/nibe111/status/1226334359688376321

Translation: "So many deer waiting for someone to buy crackers because there's been too few tourists visiting and feeding them lately."

Amused Weibo users weigh in

The post went viral on Weibo with over 517,000 likes and nearly 26,000 shares.

The hashtag "Nara deer are so hungry that they've started eating grass" also began trending on the platform.

Many netizens weighed in on the situation, with most agreeing that the deer are supposed to eat grass, anyway.

Translation: "Little deer...aren't they supposed to eat grass? Aren't deer crackers just snacks?"

Translation: "These crackers can't make up for a full meal, and eating snacks won't help them grow up well too."

The retweeted post shows peak tourist season in the park, where a deer was previously overwhelmed by the number of crackers.

Another user drew a comic, joking that the deer were on a diet while everyone was gaining weight staying at home.

But one user chimed in with the top comment.

Translation: I'm eating noodles and porridge everyday, don't even have vegetables to eat."

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Top image via Weibo