Miss the elk, hit the bear

Hitting an elk is an occupational hazard in Scandinavia, and a pretty scary one, as they can end up coming through the windscreen.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, one Norwegian driver was relieved to swerve around an elk last Wednesday night – only to hit a bear instead.

“The driver had lost a bit of speed as he tried to avoid the moose before hitting the bear,” said Svein Erik Bjorke of the local wildlife authority, who was out in the forest searching for the wounded animal.

“We are currently tracking the bear and we have found traces of blood indicating internal injuries,” he said.

The driver escaped uninjured while his car suffered some damage.

You may remember the infamous elk-test: a Scandinavian motoring magazine tests cars by swerving around cones to simulate an elk wandering into the road. When the Mercedes A-Class failed the test in 1997 and rolled over, Mercedes hurriedly fitted stability control as standard. Perhaps the test will have to be extended now to include secondary wildlife hazards.

And before we get any complaints about terminology, we are using the words “moose” and “elk” interchangeably. As far as we know a European elk and a North American moose are the same species, but a North American elk is a sub-species of deer. If you know better, well done you.