Please prepare the environment of the island,health control of deer,please protect

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A Petition to the Mayor of Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture:
As people concerned about the welfare of the environment and the deer population on Itsukushima Island, we ask that your offices take measures to improve the current conditions on the island and control the number of deer and their health.

The Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1996. There were a large number of deer inhabiting the area around Itsukushima Shrine on Itsukushima Island. In the past deer on the island were considered to be special messengers from the gods, and they were often fed by humans from a special pail called a “Shikaoke”.
After World War II, the number of deer dropped rapidly, so in order to increase the numbers, the deer were fed intentionally by local people.

Later, when hundreds of thousands of tourist began to visit Miyajima to see the deer, the city decided to stop feeding them in order to control their numbers. The deer had been living near those people who fed them. Therefore, the deer began to depend of the local population to get food. Gradually, however, the locals began to think that the deer were a nuisance. Because of that, city officials thought that by no longer feeding the deer, they would move into the mountains.

The city government insists that they do not have any responsibility if the deer die. City officials at this time do not have data on exactly how many deer live on the island, but the number of deer in the city has been declining. At this time, because they cannot obtain food as before, deer are eating anything found in the garbage thrown away by tourists, such as paper and plastic bags. This leads to some deer to die from digestive problems.

Those who are concerned about the situation had been continuously asking the city government to increase the number of public garbage bins and take other actions to prevent the deer from eating garbage. However, so far, the city has not taken any measures.

Animal activists are also concerned that the mountains on the island are also registered as a World Heritage site. Therefore, even if the deer did move to the mountain areas, if the deer over-consume the foliage on the trees, the trees might die off from the over consumption of leaves by the deer. In addition, the number of kinds of trees that the deer like to eat in the mountains is limited. Much worse, grass land is limited there, and the number of plants which are poisonous for deer are many.

For the past eleven years, an old couple living near the island go to Itsukushima Island to feed the deer once a week, and from time to time local volunteers clean up the garbage in the area.

The deer in this area should be part of the World Heritage designation. In order to help protect them, please sign this petition, leave a comment, and share it!


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