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meanwhile... elks and education

So the Government is to spend pounds 18m to counter the problem of disruptive children in our schools. Since that is precisely the same amount of money that Finland recently announced they would be spending on a system of motorway underpasses for elks, it provides a convenient excuse for satisfying those many readers who have written to say we do not have enough moose (or elk) stories in the paper. Here are some you may have missed:

Not from Ratners:

Chris Lewey of Maine, USA, has been doing good business with his Moose Droppings Jewellery Company. "I collect winter dung," he explained, "because it's easier to work with frozen stuff. I spray it with lacquer and make earrings, tie-clips and the like."

We are not a moose

In Sweden, 5,000 road accidents a year involve collisions with moose. Car-makers Saab include moose-collision simulations into their safety tests.

Moose fatality

In 1980, Bjorn Lundholm, managing director of Saab, was killed when his car hit a moose.

Ekland elk

The actress Britt Ekland was concussed when her car hit a moose in Sweden in 1993. According to safety experts, one in five road accidents in Sweden involve moose.

Who's afraid of big bad elk?

Collisions between cars and moose in Newfoundland, Canada, have been reduced by spraying the roads with wolf urine. The scent scares moose away and lasts for three months, but at pounds 500 a millilitre, it is too expensive for general use. Wolf urine has also been used to keep moose away from major sporting events in Sweden.

Chemical toilet

In Sweden and Finland, work is in progress to synthesize wolf urine in order to produce a cost-effective moose deterrent.

Miscreant moose

Police in Alingsaas, Sweden, who had been called to investigate the alleged theft of a child's garden-swing set, followed hoof prints and found a moose half a mile away struggling to disentangle the swing's nylon wires from its antlers.