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Highest rate of deer accidents in southwest Finland

The town of Raseborg averaged one white-tailed deer accident every day last year.

Hirvistä varoittava liikennemerkki valtatie 23:lla Kankaanpäässä.
An elk warning on Route 23 in Kankaanpää, western Finland. Image: Mari Kahila / Yle

November is the most hazardous time of year for road accidents involving game animals. Last year there were more than 12,000 such accidents, peaking in November, according to Statistics Finland.

More than 6,200 collisions involved deer, of which there are several species in Finland, while nearly 2,000 involved elk. For elk-related accidents, September has the highest rate.

Last year the largest numbers of deer and elk crashes were in Southwest Finland, Uusimaa (which includes Helsinki) and Pirkanmaa (which includes Tampere).

According to data collected by the insurance company LähiTapiola, the southwestern town of Raseborg (Raasepori in Finnish) had the highest number of white-tailed deer accidents, 365, or an average of one per day.

Story continues after photo

Valkohäntäpeuran vasa katsoo suoraan kameraan
A white-tailed deer fawn. Image: Jouni Minkkinen

Close behind was the neighbouring town of Salo with 318, and Loimaa, just to the north, with 258. There were also many in Sastamala and Urjala, both in Pirkanmaa.

Most elk crashes in Kouvola and Kuopio

Kouvola and Kuopio both reported the highest number of elk collissions, 36, followed by another eastern city, Mikkeli, with 31. Close behind were Jyväskylä in central Finland and Kurikka in Southern Ostrobothnia.

Elk hunting season begins in September in northern Finland. It is allowed by permit throughout the country from 15 October through 15 January. White-tailed deer may be shot from late September through mid-February.

European elk (Alces alces) are known in the United States and Canada as moose, a name that stems from the indigenous Algonquian languages. They're not related to the smaller species of deer known as elk or wapiti in North America.

Finland's rapidly expanding population of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), meanwhile, stems from five animals brought from the US state of Minnesota in 1934 as a gift from Finnish-Americans.

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