Spike in moose-vehicle collisions on dark, wet Kenai Peninsula roads

KENAI — The Kenai Peninsula has seen a recent spike in the number of moose dying in collisions with vehicles, with six of the animals struck in a 24-hour period this week.

Laurie Speakman, a volunteer driver for the Alaska Moose Federation, helped collect the moose starting Monday night, according to the Peninsula Clarion.

"It was kind of a little shocking to get that many in such a short amount of time," Speakman said. "It's getting darker and with some of the wet weather that we've been having... you cannot see these moose."

The Alaska Moose Federation responded to the first call for two calves, one on Mackey Lake Road and the other on the Sterling Highway. Speakman said she suspects they were siblings.

Another report came in Tuesday morning for an adult cow at Mile 5 of the Kenai Spur Highway. The last call Tuesday night was for a male calf at Mile 103 of the Sterling Highway and for two female calves at Mile 78.

Speakman attributes the collisions to people being distracted by cellphones and careless driving.

"A lot of people won't slow down," she said. "Drivers need to be more aware of what's going on on these roads."

Lt. Dane Gilmore is the deputy commander of the Alaska State Troopers detachment covering the Kenai Peninsula. He said the problem could be Peninsula roads, which tend to be darker, while the Interior often has moonlight reflecting off snow to help illuminate the sides of roads.