Clueless drivers boost roadkill suffering: report

Many wild animals are believed to suffer in vain in Sweden after being drivers who have run them over fail to mark out the place of the accident, according to a report on Svergies Radio (SR).

Clueless drivers boost roadkill suffering: report

“We would increase accuracy by 50 percent if all drivers started marking out where the accident occurred and that would make a huge difference,” said volunteer hunter Jonas Dahl to SR.

Despite Sweden’s hunters being among the foremost in the world in tracking down animals wounded in traffic, the rise in traffic-related wildlife accidents have increased in recent years causing the number of wounded animals to rise as well.

According to the Swedish National Wildlife Accident Council (Nationella Viltolycksrådet) the number of traffic-related wildlife accidents increased by 35 percent between 2007 and 2010 and is now at near 50,000 a year.

About 50 percent of the cases involve an animal that is just injured and disappears from the scene of the accident.

When police receives a report of a wildlife accident they call in volunteer hunters, like Jonas Dahl, in the area.

According to SR, about eight in ten animals are found. Either they are put down directly or they are declared fit. But many more would be discovered if the driver would mark out the place of the accident before leaving.

“About 50 percent of the cases we have to give up on are are due to a failure in tracking the animal ourselves, or that our dogs fail in doing so. But the other 50 percent are due to us having no idea where to start looking,” Dahl told SR.

Daniel Ligné of the Swedish Hunters’ Association (Svenska Jägareförbundet) told SR that the organisation is working hard to distribute information about this.

“We work closely with car dealerships in order to make them leave information about what to do about wildlife accidents in the glove compartment. We also work with driving schools and with customs officers, so that they are able to inform foreign drivers,” Ligné told SR.

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Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.