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Collisions with animals on N.B. roads have nearly doubled this spring: province

Click to play video: 'Animals killed on N.B. highways nearly double this spring: Province' Animals killed on N.B. highways nearly double this spring: Province
WATCH: RCMP are warning drivers to slow down and watch out for deer crossing highways in the province. As Shelley Steeves reports – it is likely to get worse in the coming weeks – Apr 10, 2017

A New Brunswick deer biologist is warning drivers to watch out for more deer crossings the province’s roads and highways this Spring.

READ MORE: 3 deer leave New Brunswick gas station in shambles after frantic visit

Joe Kennedy, a deer biologist with Energy and Resource Development New Brunswick said there has been more than an 80 per cent increase in the number of deer collisions in the province this Spring.

Kennedy said 1,253 deer, moose and bears have been killed by drivers this Spring compared to the 748 killed that same time last year.

Most of those collisions involve deer.

“We are seeing and increase in deer.  Simply there is more deer being noticed across the province in the fields this time of the year,” said Kennedy.

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Mild weather during the last two winters has allowed the deer population in the province to thrive.

Kennedy said last year there were an estimated 58,000 deer in the province. This year he is expecting the number to be much higher.

“Unfortunately, some of the deer are coming to the side of the roads to get some of the vegetation that is emerging,”said Kennedy.

Andrew Barkhouse picks deer hair our of the front of a damaged car. Shelley Steeves/Global News

Andrew Barkhouse from CSN Champlain Auto Body in Dieppe, N.B. said he has noticed an increase in business from animal collisions this spring.

“Usually in the spring of the year we generally see an influx of animals collisions but this year in particular we seem to be seeing a few more,” said Barkhouse. “We can see anywhere from an extreme amount of damage to relatively minor knocking off a mirror something along those lines, or we can see something that can go as far as being a total loss.”

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READ MORE: Nova Scotia teen in critical condition after collision with deer

Since deer tend to be most active in the early morning hours and at dusk, Kennedy said that is when drivers need to be especially watchful.

“Drivers should slow down and watch their speed and avoid distracted driving,” said Hans Ouellette, a New Brunswick RCMP Constable.

He added that deer tend to blend into the landscape and are hard to spot even if the driver is focused on the road.

Kennedy said deer collisions tend to be at the highest in the province during the month of April.

 

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