RCMP are cautioning motorists in northern New Brunswick to be on the lookout for wildlife after receiving numerous reports of near misses in the past few days.
The reports have involved large animals, especially moose, along Route 11, the main highway between Bathurst and the Quebec border, as well as all secondary and rural roads along the north shore, said Campbellton RCMP Sgt. Stephen Dibblee.
Dwayne Sabine, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, says it's normal for moose sightings to spike during the spring when young moose are breaking away from their mother.
"They've been with her all year and all through the winter and now they're being pushed away and they're, you know, a bit confused," said Sabine.
"They've never been on their own before and they don't know what to do and they tend to wander around a bit. And so maybe they're a bit more likely to cross the road and that's why we tend to see moose end up in urban areas this time of year."
Moose are also attracted to the salt and vegetation along the roads, said Sabine.
"They need the nutrients. You know, they're giving birth, they need a lot of micro nutrients. And of course, you have road salt in the ditches and that can attract moose," Sabine said.
But it's not just moose drivers should be watching for, say RCMP.
"The bears are starting to wander and some of the deer are coming around," said Dibblee.
Only a couple of minor accidents have been reported in the area to date, he said.
"That being said, we're trying to prevent other ones, more serious accidents from happening not only here, but across the province," Dibble said.
Drivers should be extra vigilant between dusk and dawn, when animals are more likely to be along the side of the road and when they are difficult to see, he said.