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Repel railway elk with human waste: researcher

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Repel railway elk with human waste: researcher
Photo: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix
12:14 CET+01:00
Human excrement could be just the ticket to keep errant elk from unwittingly ending their lives on Norway's rail tracks, a researcher has said.

With train drivers exasperated at running over so many of the helpless beasts, the National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket) is looking at ways to slash the number of animal collisions on the country’s rail network.

Noting that elk dislike human scents, a lecturer at Hedmark University College has put forward a pungent solution.

“Open the toilet tanks on the stretches most frequented by elk and let human urine and excrement scare the elk away,” he told newspaper Østlendingen.

From 2000 to 2009, a 20-kilometre stretch between Koppang and Reda saw the railroad deaths of 288 elk, or moose as the animals are known in North America.

In the same period, 123 elk perished on a 10-kilomtre stretch between Rena and Opphus.

In all, nine of the 14 most treacherous stretches for elk were located in Hedmark county, eastern Norway.

“We know where most elk are run over. Sprinkling the rails with urine and faeces when the trains pass would not be particularly difficult to implement,” said Storaas.

The great debate: Elk or Moose?

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