The following letter to the editor is published in today's edition (Aug. 15th) of the St. John's Telegram. The above picture is of the Jeep I was driving in October, 2012 when I had a head-on collision with a moose on the western edge of Terra Nova National Park. Find the story here. I wasn't injured; the moose dragged itself to the side of Trans-Canada and died within minutes of the collision.
With all due respect to Steven Fletcher — who’s been paralyzed from the neck down since 1996 when his car struck a moose (”it’s better to run into a brick wall”) — he’s out to lunch.
Fletcher is absolutely wrong, and even to suggest the wiping out of an entire moose population (“invasive species” that they are) is foolish.
The best way (not the only way) to curb moose/vehicle collisions isn’t to kill every last animal, but to slow down.
Even then, there’s still risk — that’s the reality of life in Newfoundland and Labrador.
It’s more wild and rugged here than ever with the population shift towards town.
So much of the bay is slowly reverting to its natural state.
We must adjust to nature, not the other way around. Haven’t we learned from the sea?
If studies show a case for fences in high-traffic moose zones, spend the money and build fences.
And continue with brush-cutting and silhouettes, and perhaps even increase moose licences in certain areas.
As well, renew the debate about cellphones and driving. It is unbelievably dangerous — deadly even — to operate a phone while driving, and too many of us still do it.
I shook my head when I read Fletcher’s letter to the editor, because he’s not just wrong — he’s dead wrong.
He doesn’t understand how moose have become part of our culture, diet and economy.
It’s not about human life vs. moose, but about living, mitigating the dangers and learning to live together. The we-brought-them-here, we-can-kill-them argument is ridiculous — as is so flippantly advising to wipe out a population.
It’s unacceptable for an MP (even a Conservative one) to recommend the wiping out of an entire animal population as a serious alternative.
Fletcher’s either an instigator, misguided, or a fool.