【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (17) Hokkaido sika deer survive by feeding on thorny branches

The pitiful sight of Hokkaido sika deer nibbling on the thorny branches

It’s mid-winter, and Notsuke Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido is covered with snow and ice. There is no sense of color; just a world of monochrome.

As evening approaches, the deer gradually emerge from the Narawara forest dieback and gather by the roadside. They search for dead leaves to eat, buried by the snow, but repeated freezing of the snow hardens its surface, making it difficult to dig.

 No food can be found; just branches covered in thorns. A Hokkaido sika deer starts to nibble on the stem of a hamanasu Japanese rose. In the Nemuro region, damage to hamanasu caused by deer is severe. Government agencies are attempting to develop measures to prevent intrusion of the deer into wildlife sanctuaries and the like.

 The sight of the deer’s attempts to survive is impressive and, at the same time, is heartbreaking in terms of the damage to the plants. It’s amid these mixed feelings that the deer were viewed through the lens of the camera.


Notsuke Peninsula