Threat on the high­way

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

Dear edi­tor,

I would like to use your news­pa­per to ex­press my con­cerns about the large num­bers of moose in our prov­ince, and the threat they pose for driv­ers on high­ways. Like many peo­ple I drive across our high­ways mul­ti­ple times a week. This sim­ple task is seen as one of the most feared things a per­son and their fam­ily can ex­pe­ri­ence, all be­cause of a pos­si­ble un­ex­pected en­counter with a moose.

Thou­sands of peo­ple un­der­stand this feel­ing as ei­ther them­selves, or a loved one will have the un­com­fort­able knowl­edge that, as much driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that a per­son has, there is lit­tle you can do if a 1,000-pound moose ap­pears from seem­ingly nowhere.

I, along with my fam­ily, have had our share of ex­pe­ri­ences with moose on high­ways in this prov­ince. For­tu­nately, none have claimed any lives. But still, the en­coun­ters have been ter­ri­fy­ing.

One ex­am­ple would be when I, along with my fa­ther, was driv­ing across the Heart’s Con­tent Bar­rens. Go­ing be­low speed limit in our ve­hi­cle a moose sud­denly jumped over the ditch on the side of the high­way and came within feet of our front bumper. The only way we missed col­lid­ing with the moose was that there had been rain a few hours pre­vi­ous to the trip and his hooves slipped on the road, buy­ing us enough time to swerve out of the way.

This is only one story of the thou­sands of oth­ers that New­found­lan­ders and Labradore­ans have ex­pe­ri­enced, many of which have not been so lucky as we were on that day.

So, is there any­thing that can be done to help solve this prob­lem? I sug­gest that the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment in­crease the amount of moose that can be legally hunted.

Moose are not na­tive to our prov­ince. They were in­tro­duced to our prov­ince in 1904, and have no nat­u­ral preda­tors to lower their steadily ris­ing pop­u­la­tion. There­fore, we must be the ones to con­trol their pop­u­la­tion as in­no­cent lives are con­stantly at risk. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment should also clear out a perime­ter of trees from the high­ways to help in­crease vis­i­bil­ity for driv­ers. Ver­don Mer­ri­gan


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