You can read Part 1 here.
Just going to take a little detour here, for fun…
The Korean War may have devastated families and divided a nation, but it also unintentionally created a nature preserve with the most diverse wildlife population on the peninsula. According to Stripes, the military newspaper:
While mention of the DMZ conjures images of stone-faced soldiers, barbed-wire fences, guns and guard towers, the area between North and South Korea has remained virtually untouched by humans for more than 55 years.
As a result, the DMZ has essentially become a 2.5-mile-wide, 155-mile-long nature park that is home to more than 50 species of mammals, roughly 200 kinds of birds and in excess of 1,000 plant species. Some of the birds and animals that live or visit here are threatened or endangered.
I wouldn’t have even mentioned it, except for this sweet little guy:
Uh, yeah. That’s a vampire deer. I think it has another less sinister name, but really. Come on. It’s a deer with scary big fangs.
This cuddly little monster lives (with all his vampire homies) in the DMZ. I didn’t get to see one, but the soldier who took us on our tour had some photos on his phone. Crazy, right?
Quick A/B poll:
Which response best characterizes your feelings after reading this post?
A) “I did want to visit the DMZ, however you have permanently scarred me. I am now hiding under my bed with no plans to emerge, just in case you brought one of those… things… back with you. Just say NO to the DMZ.”
B) “You know, I wasn’t really that interested in all this DMZ mumbo-jumbo before. However, vampire deer have captured my attention and now I’m booking flights and researching nature expeditions in the area. DMZ or bust!”
I’ll be back soon with some more of my own thoughts and photos of the DMZ.