I grew up near a small city called Deer Park, they were actually the rivals to my high school. There weren't really any deer there, though. But there is at least one place in the world that has lots and lots of deer in a park - and that place is Nara, Japan!
Somehow the local park in Nara, called Nara Park...very clever...is full of small brown sika deer that love crackers. Specially made deer crackers, to be exact. They are sold in bunches of six for 150 yen, or about $1.50 USD. There are several vendors spread throughout the park that sell them, so you won't have to worry about running out. James and I tried one, and they seem to be made of something similar to Cornflakes cereal.
Now, there is something special about these deer. Somehow, at some point in time, they were taught to bow in order to receive a cracker. Now all of them do it and there is a trick to maximize your bowing experience. First, hold the cracker above their head and they will bow once. Then, bring the cracker around behind your back where they can't see it (beware of another one sneaking up from behind to steal it at this point!), and the deer will bow again. After the second bow, bring the cracker once again up above their head and they will bow a third time. At that point, they can be rewarded with the cracker.
It it was awesome to see this learned motion and the deer were very, very pushy, so be careful not to get caught in the middle of a herd of them or cornered by a male. James actually got headbutted in the back by a male for not getting a cracker out fast enough, so it may be something to be careful having small kids around for. The deer definitely rule the park and we're even seen across the street wandering around outside (and even inside) the local souvenir shops and food stalls.
Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm a car nut, bird lover, and musician. I have recently transitioned from music teacher to automotive service manager, and there have been lots of cool stories and crazy characters along the way!