Love Nara’s legendary deer? You’ll love them even more when they’re in your house.

The deer that roam the streets in Nara are among the most well known in the world. With the way they flood the roads, interact with visitors by bowing and eating food out of people’s hands, and even participate in local elections, they’re a huge tourist attraction.

Unfortunately though the crowds of cute deer have a dark side. Deer overpopulation is a serious issue, and Nara City has responded in the past by trying to make venison curry more popular… with mixed results.

▼ At least they didn’t mess up the spelling
and accidentally go with “dear” meat.

But now that the deer outnumber Nara’s human population by a ratio of almost two-to-one, with experts estimating an increase to three-to-one in the next five years thanks to Japan’s shrinking population, the city has had to come up with some extreme measures.

▼ A common sight in modern Nara,
streets so full of deer even the buses can’t get through.

To tackle the problem, the government-run organization “Let’s Make The Deer Population More Sustainable And Enjoy Nara Again Friendship Association” has proposed a radical solution: allow people to adopt any deer that they want and take them home.

▼ No one said picking which ones to adopt would be easy though.

Flickr/Guilhem Vellut

The proposal is set to start next month and would allow Nara residents, Japan residents, and even foreign tourists from other countries to adopt as many deer as they’d like and take them home with them.

The “Deer Population” organization hopes that this humane method of dealing with the deer overpopulation will result in clearer streets for Nara residents to walk and drive on, and that life in the city will return to the way it was before.

The organization is currently looking for volunteer staff that would assist people in wrangling and harnessing their desired deer. The fee for “adoption assistance” is estimated to be 5,000 yen (US$45) per deer, though more outgoing adopters are welcome to simply purchase an “adoption kit” (including rope, bag of deer food, and adoption certificate) for 1,000 yen and harness their desired deer themselves.

▼ One happy deer-adopter getting ready to
wrangle-up a new friend to bring home.


The organization says that they do not currently offer any extra support for foreign tourists who want to bring their newly-adopted deer back to their home country, but they are looking into possibly negotiating a discount deal with the nearby Osaka International Airport for anyone bringing back three or more deer with them.

They did however note that the Nara deer are used to a life of being spoiled, so they advise anyone looking to fly their adopted-deer home to book the deer’s seats in at least business class.

▼ Most of the deer have also been trained in international business etiquette,
so they can strike up some deals and make your money back pretty quickly.

So what do you think? Are you going to head to Nara next month to adopt a deer of your own? Let us know in the comments and remember to have a happy April Fools’ Day!

Source: April Fools’ Day
Top image: Flickr/goodmami