Working in a busy small animal clinic during the summer months, I noticed that in Sweden we are seeing – thankfully – only very few dogs and cats that had been hit by cars. To be honest, during the whole month of July, I can only recall seeing a single patient with a pelvic fracture and that unfortunate puppy had in fact been run over by his owner reversing out of the drive……
So, why is this ?…..
Well, to some degree it might have to do with the lower population density and probably also with the rigorously enforced speed limits on Swedish roads, but I would argue that in addition to this, the plethora of warning signs will play a not inconsiderable role here as well. Some of these are pretty unique to Sweden or to the Nordic countries.
Let’s start with a classic :
Yes, this one can be seen pretty much anywhere in Sweden and as I have shown in one of my previous blog posts, there is a good reason why these signs are out there : you definitely don’t want to hit an elk (or a moose for my American readers….) with your car. This sign has proven to be so popular, that it has turned out to be one of the most sold Swedish souvenirs (even if the tourists have not even seen a single elk during their travels….) and as the probably most frequently stolen road sign worldwide…..
Elks also have their smaller Arctic cousins – the reindeer – and sure enough, they too can’t do without their personal warning signs (this photo was admittedly not taken in Sweden, but 10m over the boarder in Norway – it was just too great an opportunity to miss…..)
A completely different sort of animal appears to be in need for these signs:
I find that somewhat surprising, as I would have thought that both the petrol fumes and the noise would give them away already from a considerable distance…..
A kind hearted Swede near our clinic came up with this version, which couldn’t be more self explanatory …….
Finally, while cycling around Lake Ruun – at a pretty moderate speed anyway I like to add – I came across my personal favorite ……..
Not even a warning sign – please note here the zebra-crossing!……..
But then I think that we always knew that cats are special……