More moose on the loose?
The Saskatchewan government is getting a little more worried about the hazards moose present to motorists.
While "deer crossing" signs have been common on southern Saskatchewan highways for many years, "moose crossing" signs are now popping up on Highway 11, southeast of Saskatoon.
"Right now, it's pretty common to see moose in southern Saskatchewan," said Marv Hlady, a wildlife allocation specialist with the Environment Department.
"We don't think the numbers are going to be decreasing." It's a dangerous situation when a car hits a deer, but it's even more dangerous when the animal struck is a moose, Hlady said.
Moose are bigger and taller and when they're hit, there's a greater likelihood the animal will go over the fender, he said.
As to why moose are becoming more plentiful in southern Saskatchewan, Hlady said there's no single explanation, but it may have to with the fact that rural Saskatchewan is less populous than it once was.
That suggests there's simply more habitat available to moose, he said.
It's also possible that these days, there's less "unlicenced harvesting" — in other words, illegal moose hunting — than there used to be, he said.
Moose, typically denizens of the wooded areas, are making their homes in willow bluffs, slough bottoms and farmyards, he said.
"They become a pest," he said, "They can be aggressive if they're protecting their calves."