Veterinarians at Nara Park in Japan have posted a shocking image on social media of what was found inside a deer at the popular tourist attraction.
Visitors to the area alerted park employees when they spotted a deer that was struggling to stand.
Despite the efforts of staff to save the deer, the animal later died.
The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation, who look after the population of 1200 wild deer living in the park, completed an autopsy and discovered 3.2kg of plastic inside the deer’s stomach.
The free-roaming deer in Nara Park have become used to humans offering them food, some have even learned to bow and ‘ask’ for food from the almost two million visitors to the park each year.
Although the park sells specialised deer food in the form of crackers, some visitors bring their own food in plastic bags and hungry deer can consume the packaging as well as the food in the rush to eat.
According to the park website, rubbish bins aren’t provided in the park and visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them when they leave but some fail to do so, leaving rubbish behind in easy reach of curious deer.
A Tweet from staff showed veterinarians examining the deer and the large mass of foreign material found inside the animal’s stomach on a scale to demonstrate the amount of plastic the deer had consumed.
It’s believed the reason for the deer’s death was due to the plastic.
The translated message said: “This is a lump of plastic bags that came in from a dead deer's stomach weighing 3.2 kg. Do not throw trash in Nara Park!”
There are bilingual signs around the park advising tourists how to behave around the wild animals and the correct way to feed the deer.
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