Deer dies with 4kg of plastic in its stomach

Deer dies with 4kg of plastic in its stomach

It's fair to say that plastic pollution is one of the gravest environmental threats facing us today. Although we often hear about the critical state of our oceans, and the effect that fossil-fuel-derived materials have on the creatures of the seas, the fact is that land-dwelling flora and fauna are just as much at risk, as the following post sadly proves.

Vets working at the Nara Deer Welfare Association have reported that one of their does has died as a result of ingesting over four kilograms of plastic waste.

The sick deer was found by the Todaiji temple in Nara Park in Japan on March 23. Despite their best efforts to feed the 17-year-old female deer, she refused food and died the next day. She apparently weighed a mere 30 kilograms.

Check out this super-cute video all about the Nara deer park below:  

The vets performed an autopsy on the corpse of the deer, opening up her stomach and intestines. They discovered that her guts had been clogged by hardened plastic (thought to be made from polyethene bags) which made it impossible for her to regurgitate and digest.

In the last year, a further six deer have been found with plastic in their stomachs.

Visitors to the park often feed the deer food from out of plastic bags. The animals are often unable to distinguish between container and contents, and thus end up swallowing the polyethene whole. In a desperate bid to prevent any more deer from swallowing plastic, the Welfare Association has created an environmentally-friendly bag made from natural materials, which tourists are encouraged to use in lieu of anything harmful.

Sadly, this isn't the first time we've had to report on this urgent issue. Check out this article we penned all about how England is planning on banning plastic straws from April 2020 onwards.