Deer accounted for 200 injuries in this park last year

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Deer and loathing in Japan.

The Japan Times reports that 200 people were injured by deer in Nara Park, a popular tourist attraction home to free-roaming, wild deer.

Injuries range from small bites to full-on attacks resulting in broken bones.

Conversely, only 10 serious injuries were sustained from 2013 to 2017.

The park encourages visitors to feed the Sika deer, but many tourists — mostly foreign — have been seen teasing the animals.

“If you keep them waiting when feeding, they can bite you,” government official Yuichiro Kitabata told the Japan Times last April. “Not all tourists know they are wild, believing they are kept in the park.”

Foreign tourism in Nara catapulted almost tenfold from 2012 to 2017, according to the Times.

Last year, Nara authorities placed a list of deer safety guidelines throughout the park written in English, Chinese and Japanese.

Akimasa Yoshimura, head of a local civic group, offered wisdom to those unfamiliar with the park. “At first sight it seems that the deer are calm but, because they are wild, they can attack people.”

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