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Swedish drivers smash into elk, reindeer

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Swedish drivers smash into elk, reindeer
08:35 CET+01:00
Six elk were hit by motorists in northern Sweden in the span of a few hours on Thursday afternoon, bringing the three day total of accidents involving large mammals to at least 20 for the region.

By 8pm on Thursday, police in Västerbotton County had received reports of at least eight collisions between cars and wild animals for the day, the local Västerbotten-Kuriren newspaper reported.

Six crashes involving elk were reported, in addition to one report of a crash with a roe deer and another reported accident involving a reindeer.

No motorists were injured in the incidents and there were no reports about the conditions of the animals.

The high number of crashes comes on the heels of two straight days riddled with unexpected animal-auto meet ups on the roads in northern Sweden.

“It's mostly reindeer and elk that are being hit,” police spokes person Ebbe Nyberg told the newspaper on Wednesday, when six wild animal crashes were reported.

“In all the accidents, the people involved have been lucky and escaped without injury.”

Nyberg attributed the recent spike in accidents involving large game to heavy snowfall in the region.

“They're out on the roads. It's hard, people need to driver very carefully in order to avoid them,” she said.

On Tuesday, police received reports about four elk and one roe deer being hit by cars.

In neighbouring Norbotten County, three motorists crashed into elk on Wednesday afternoon, but no injuries were reported. A reindeer and roe deer were also hit in seperate incidents.

So far in December, there have been more than 205 reported crashes with reindeer and 55 elk crashes in Norbotten, compared to 163 and 58, respectively, last year according to the Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD) newspaper.

According to Sweden' National Wildlife Accident Council (Nationella viltolycksrådet), around 1,500 accidents with wild animals have occurred in Norbotten in 2011, while the nationwide figure stands at 38,200.

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