As we head into spring, you are being reminded to watch for animals along the side of the roads.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says this is the time of year when moose, elk and deer are more likely to be wondering on the roads and highways. The MNRF says drivers should take extra care when driving along certain areas including:

  • Roads crossing creeks or rivers
  • Where there are wooded corridors
  • Field edges run at a right angle to the road
  • Fences meet the roads
  • Where wildlife crossing signs are posted

The MNRF says these tend to be areas where animals like to cross in front of vehicles, especially at dawn and dusk. Outreach Specialist Karen Passmore says moose are most likely seen along the highways while there is still road salt on the pavement because the salt is a desirable mineral within their diet.

Passmore says if you see a deer, there are likely more around because they tend to travel in groups. She adds that vehicle headlights are something that may disorient most animals, especially at night.

She says drivers should do a couple of things to ensure both themselves and the animals stay safe including:

  • Taking extra care where roads cross creeks or rivers, in wooded corridors, or where field edges run perpendicular to the road
  • Watching your speed when driving at night and slowing down to give you more time to respond
  • Braking firmly if an animal is standing on or crossing the road, stopping if necessary
  • Avoiding swerving because it may result in loss of control and a more serious collision

The South Porcupine OPP says in this area, there were 73 collision involving animals on the highways last year. The OPP says it has already received four calls so far this year. The Timmins Police Service says last year it received nine calls within the city limits.

The MNRF is also reminding you that if you want to keep a dead wild animal that was killed or found on the roadway, you have to submit a Notice of Possession right away. Passmore says there are special rules that apply to endangered or threatened species. She says that information can be found online.