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Concerns raised about deer population after motorcyclist killed in crash on N.S. highway
A man has died after his motorcycle collided with a deer on Nova Scotia’s Highway 103.
The RCMP responded to the crash in Ingramport, N.S., around 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday.
“When we arrived at the scene, we found that the first in the group of four riders had struck the deer,” said Nova Scotia RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke. “He was thrown from the motorcycle, and despite the efforts of bystanders, and actually a registered nurse who arrived at the scene, they were unable to resuscitate him.”
The 49-year-old Alberta man died at the scene. One other rider in the group sustained minor injuries.
The highway was closed in the area and traffic was diverted for several hours as an RCMP collision analyst examined the scene.
The road reopened shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday.
As the RCMP investigate the accident, questions swirl about the threat from what seems to be a growing deer population.
Although there are no firm numbers, those who work with wildlife say the number of accidents appears to be on the rise -- that's something drivers ought to be aware of.
In parts of the region, deer have been problematic for years.
A recent University of New Brunswick study in St. Andrews, N.B., found about 13 of the animals in every square kilometre of the town; the ideal number is between three and four.
Deer have also been a problem in Truro, which even allowed hunting within its boundaries last fall.
Although the number of deer taken by hunters is down from what it was five years ago, it's been steadily rising since then.
Last year, more than 9,800 were harvested.
At Hope For Wildlife, the number of orphans now sits at an even dozen -- every one the result of a motor vehicle accident.
“We absolutely are seeing more orphans now than we did about five years ago,” said Hope Swinimer.
Swinimer isn’t sure if there are actually more deer on the roads, or whether more people are bringing in babies, but she is sure the number of collisions could be reduced if drivers eased off the gas.
“Just slowing down about five to 10 kilometres, especially at dawn and dusk, when wildlife is the most active and on the road, and being aware,” Swinimer said. “If you are a driver, have somebody in the passenger side to look for the eyes shining on the side of the road.”
Swinimer says deer are generally more active in the fall, but families do move around in the spring.
Swinimer doesn't necessarily believe that deer culls actually work in the reducing the population.
She says, from what she's read, nature has a way of compensating for manmade vacuums: the deer will have more babies.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.