Elk road accidents jump 20 percent in Sweden

Road accidents involving elk in Sweden jumped 20 percent in 2006 from the previous year, but there was no immediate explanation for the sudden rise, Swedish police said on Friday.

In 2006 police were notified of 4,940 traffic accidents involving elk, known as moose in North America, an increase of 848 from 2005, according to data published by the police.

“We are at a loss to explain this sudden rise … it’s surprising,” police spokesman Lars Saevberger told AFP.

No corresponding increase in the elk population had been reported which could explain the increase, Saevberger said.

A total of 33,958 accidents involving animals on Sweden’s roads were recorded in 2006.

Of the road crashes with animals in Sweden last year which killed eight people, all involved elk.