Deer Conservationists In Nara Clean Up Trash

Deer conservationists in Nara clean up trash

A group working to protect wild deer in Japan's ancient capital of Nara has resumed a campaign to pick up trash, after several deer died from eating plastic waste.

The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation says supermarket bags and other plastic waste were found in the stomachs of nine out of the 14 deer that have died in Nara Park since March this year. Plastic waste is believed to have been the direct cause of three of the deaths.

The discovery prompted the foundation to resume cleanups in Nara Park for the first time since 2011.

On Wednesday, some 140 volunteers joined the group to pick up discarded plastic bags, straws and empty cans.

They collected 53 kilograms of trash in about an hour and a half.

A female participant in her 20s said she was shocked by news that plastic waste has been killing the deer. She said she wishes tourists would take their garbage home.

The head of the foundation, Yoshitaka Ashimura, said foreign tourists are welcome to volunteer in the cleanups.