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GROWING MOOSE POPULATION ENDANGERS CANADIAN DRIVERS

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ST JOHN'S, NFL, Canada - The moose is among Canada's most beloved national symbols, but in Newfoundland, the creature's proliferation is being blamed for a growing number of accidents on the island's highways.
It's estimated that between 750 and 800 road accidents annually are related to moose, and with a growing population that is around 150,000, that number could rise in years to come.
Recently, Conservative Sen. Fabian Manning found out first-hand how dangerous such encounters can be, when his car skidded into one of the large animals.
  • Manning was driving home from a series of television interviews in St. John's when he was forced to slam on the brakes.
  • "Right on the bumper of my front car was a 1,200-pound cow moose," Manning recalled on Power Play Tuesday.
  • "It seemed like it was happening in slow motion. It came over the hood (and) hit the windshield ... I thought my days on this earth were over."
  • Unlike some drivers, who die or become seriously injured in such incidents, Manning managed to walk away with relatively minor injuries.
  • "I was very lucky, very fortunate," he said.
  • As the number of moose-related crashes has increased in Newfoundland, so has public concern.
  • Recently, a provincial judge gave approval for a related class-action lawsuit to be heard against the province. Lawyer Ches Crosbie claims that the province has failed to manage the moose population, and the suit calls for compensation for people involved in crashes involving moose.
The suit is also asking for a moose cull, fencing and other measures to keep the creatures off the roads. While Manning didn't comment specifically on the case, he agreed that something needs to be done.
"There's no doubt in my mind we need to address the moose population on the highways in Newfoundland," he said, adding that several solutions are plausible, including expanded hunting tags.
The Newfoundland court also heard this week that dozens of people have required hospital care because of moose-vehicle crashes over the past decade. At least 10 of those cases have been fatal.
Source: The Canadian Press
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