Mark and Eric talk about wild animals in Japan.
Mark: When you go on these motorcycle trips, do you see much wildlife?
Eric: Well often I ride on my off-road bike. I ride fire-roads or logging type roads…very small gravel….roads and on these types of roads I tend to see a lot of deer .
Eric: ….the mountains, in this area at least, are teeming with deer, and also certain times of year…now and the next month or so…I think I’ll start seeing a lot of frogs and snakes…I don’t know why, maybe they come to the road because it is warm…on one ride maybe I’ll see five or ten snakes and dozens of frogs. I have also seen a wild tanuki once. A couple of friends…a few friends and I stopped for a break and a curious tanuki came and sized us up for a possible picnic of leftovers…for those of you who don’t know what a tanuki is…a tanuki is called a ‘raccoon-dog’; a strange animal that we have only in Japan.
Mark: Are there any other animals that we have only in Japan that you have seen…do you know any more?
Eric: Aaah, not really, you know. The wild pig…the wild boar…they are not only in Japan but there are certainly a lot of wild pigs and another common animal that you find in the mountains is the Japanese macau.
Mark: Is that the…
Eric: Aah macaque! I am sorry macaque.
Mark: Aah the monkey!
Eric: Yeah. The Japanese macaque: monkeys.
Mark: There is quite a strange animal that I have seen in the mountains. I use to drive around a lot looking for wild food and I saw a kamoshika. ‘Shika’ means deer and ‘kamo’ …I am not sure what that means…but basically the kamoshika is a sort of a hairy looking animal…I think in the deer family. I don’t know the English word for it. It’s a…c-e-r- something… I am not sure of the word. I don’t know how to spell it. I can’t remember how to spell it.
Eric: Yeah…I don’t know…I don’t know that animal. I have not seen one of those.
Mark: Check it out on the internet: Kamoshika