Get to know the Finnish deer

Most of the roads in Finland are near the forest, therefore animals such as elks, deers, arctic fox might come out occasionally. We would like to introduce elks and deers in particular and warn everyone, especially when driving or cycling in the dusk or before sunrise near the forests where their sudden appearance might causes a dangerous collision.

What is an elk?

Elk is hirvi in the Finnish language. It is also known as moose and belongs from the family of deers. There are several different types of deers in Finland, poro, a mountain reindeer known as the reindeer of Christmas and also smaller ones like the well-known bambi reindeer called valkohäntäpeura. However, the elk is the largest of all deers, almost as big as a horse, with big horns and weighting about 600 kg. The number of elk and deers reaches almost 100,000 in Finland and they can be seen almost anywhere. Elks and deers are shot by licensed-hunters and hunting season is from the beginning of September to the middle of January. 20,000 elks and deers are reduced yearly because of the rarity of the natural predators. This is why it's important to be careful this time of the year.

Is there a need to be worried about it?

Driving in Finland is safe, traffic is calm, and drivers follow traffic rules. The highest speed limit is 120km/h in the motorway. It's good to be aware and be cautious, but no need to panic and worry too much. The Finnish Road Safety Council- Liikkenneturva reported about 1824 deer accidents on Finnish roads in 2017 and the damage costed 63,5M Eur. It also causes injures of around 146 people every year. 

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