Growing moose population in Labrador a concern for drivers

Stephen Roberts
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Moose-related accidents are no longer a concern just for the island.

On April 24, Colin Rumbolt of Mary’s Harbour collided with a moose 37 kilometres outside of Port Hope Simpson. His truck is currently located at Jimmy’s Garage in Forteau. The damage sustained to the vehicle has caused it to be written off due to the damages.

More and more collisions and near misses are taking place in Southern Labrador.

On April 24, 17-year-old Colin Rumbolt of Mary’s Harbour was traveling from Goose Bay to Mary’s Harbour when, just 37 kilometres outside of Port Hope Simpson, his truck struck a 600-pound cow moose.

Colin says it was dusk and visibility was poor at the time of the accident. He was driving near the middle of the road in order to avoid potholes along the Trans-Labrador Highway. He estimates that he spotted the moose about five to ten seconds before they struck it.

He explains that the moose headed up on the right-hand shoulder of the road. Colin turned the truck a little to the left and as they proceeded on, slowing down, the moose dashed across in front of the vehicle. At that moment, Colin’s instincts cut in and, knowing he couldn’t avoid the moose, he turned the wheel to the right in order not to strike it head-on.

“If I struck the moose straight-on, I knew it would come in through the window and probably have caused fatalities,” he says.

The moose collided with the corner of the driver’s side and was killed. Colin says the bonnet took the brunt of the impact.

Fortunately, no significant injuries were sustained from the collision. Colin says he suffered a bruised rib and stomach pains from the seatbelt while his girlfriend further aggravated a previously sustained leg injury. There were two other people in the vehicle who were unhurt.

The truck had to be written off due to the damages.

According to Colin’s mother, Cheryl Rumbolt, there are more moose-related collisions in the area that sometimes go unreported.

Cheryl has spoken with coworkers and numerous other individuals who have had near misses with moose roaming near the highway and says she has spotted numerous, herself, as she commutes back and forth to Port Hope Simpson from Mary’s Harbour for work. 

“I think there are more moose in Labrador than people realize and I think that if everybody reported it, the numbers would be astonishing as to actually how many moose are out there and how many near misses there have been,” she says.

She is calling for more signage along the Trans-Labrador Highway to warn drivers and make them more aware of the moose population in the region.

Minister of Transportation and Works Nick McGrath says his department monitors the moose population in all areas throughout the province and when they see that there is an increase in the population, signage will be increased.

He adds that Cheryl’s concerns will be taken under consideration and will be passed along to senior officials.

Geographic location: Labrador, Port Hope Simpson, Southern Labrador Goose Bay

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  • john
    May 09, 2014 - 13:29

    No injuries? Didn't the moose die?