Planet China

Fed up

In Hong Kong there is a noodle shop near WiC’s office. It is on a quiet street and to the untrained eye does not look particularly special. But come midday and regardless of the weather a queue of 50 or more mainland Chinese will be waiting to eat there. The power of social media has turned it into one of the must-go places for Chinese tourists, who will eagerly take a photo of their bowl and post it online to show family and friends that they’ve tried the famous beef noodles at the Kau Kee restaurant.

In a similar fashion when Chinese tourists visit Japan’s Nara one of the must-do things is to snap a photo of feeding the wild deer and share it on WeChat. However, NHK has reported that the surge in visitors has led to unwelcome consequences at Nara Park. As more Chinese have tried to feed the deer there has been a big increase in the number of attacks by the animals on people. Between April and January a record 209 visitors were injured by the deer, with eight suffering fractures – compared to a grand total of 10 fractures in the prior eight years. NHK says 83% of those injured are from China. Fuji TV reckons some of the Chinese tourists are not patient enough when they feed the animals, or worse tease the deer by holding out food and then withdrawing it, angering the animals. It adds that a lot of the attacks happen in the periods when the female deet are pregnant or the males want to breed (between September and November). The deer are naturally more aggressive during mating season, but the tourists are not necessarily aware of this and as the park is wild, there are no staff on hand to warn them.

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