If you head out to the countryside in Japan you’re likely to notice that there’s a whole lot of wildlife to be found on these myriad islands. Whether it’s brown bears (Hokkaido), venomous snakes (Okinawa), or stinging centipedes (Everywhere), it’s important to be aware of what might be lurking. It’s not all creepy crawlies and bitey-stingies, though – there’s a possibility you’ll bump into capering monkeys, wild boar trotting down residential streets, and other adorable and fuzzy members of the animal kingdom. If you’re extra-lucky, one might even seek you out as a special friend, which is what happened to one bloke on Twitter when a deer decided to take up residence under his porch!

Twitter user lodgemotive managed to take several snaps of what looked like a friendly deer who suddenly appeared one snowy winter’s day on his back porch. Seemingly enjoying the attention, the cloven-hooved critter showed no inclination of budging from its comfy spot, prompting lodgemotive-san to turn to his Twitter followers for help on identifying the breed of deer and perhaps gaining some advice on what to do with his new friend.

▲ “Heard a strange noise and came face to face with this deer…”

▲ “It’s just sitting there watching me. What does it want? And what should I do about it?”

▲ “Why are you staring at me, Mr Fluffy Deer?”

▲ “Now I’m wondering if these clattering noises I’ve been hearing at night were caused by deer? I guess it’s nice and cosy under my porch roof…”

▲ “Here’s a few better shots of the front of the deer.”

It didn’t take long for knowledgeable twitizens to make a positive ID on the deer. It turns out to be a Japanese Serow, (Nihon Kamoshika) or wild goat-antelope, which is actually a protected species.

▲ “That’s a Japanese Serow!”

▲ “Japanese Serow are a protected species, so don’t try to pet it… even though it’s super fluffy!”

One savvy responder even provided practical advice to the perplexed tweeter, sharing a link to a Toyama prefectural government webpage which provides info on the correct way to handle a Japanese Serow:


▲ “Sorry to barge in, but I thought this page might be useful to you!”

The webpage states that the Japanese Serow has held protected species status since 1934, and the number of these fluffy deer-antelope has actually been increasing, meaning that it’s quite common now for people to catch glimpses of them in the hills and surrounding areas. They’ve actually become quite a nuisance in some areas as they have a naughty habit of munching on crops and saplings. Japanese Serow are also reportedly quite fond of chilling out in the early evening and have been known to sit in the same position for hours, a habit which tends to worry those who observe them. They’re also known to habitually visit the same spot, once they’ve found somewhere comfy – which means that lodgemotive-san can probably count on the fact that he’ll be seeing his fluffy friend quite a bit in the months to come.

If you ever find yourself eyeball-to-eyeball with one of these fuzzy fellows in Japan, the Toyama prefectural government recommends taking the following steps:

  • Try not to panic or startle the animal. Japanese Serow can be aggressive if threatened, and may use their horns to gore an assailant.
  • Do not approach it or attempt to trap it.
  • Since these are wild animals, do not try to touch them.

There’s also a pretty extensive “what to do when…” chart that covers everything from “help, it’s fallen in the river” to “help, it’s eating my plants!” It turns out the answer to them all is “if the situation doesn’t resolve itself, call the local authorities,” but we recommend checking Twitter first to see if anyone there has any advice!

Source: Togech.jp
Image: Twitter @lodgemotive