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animal tracking in darkness
  Tracking an injured animal can be both difficult and risky. A large part of the initial work is done on or close to the road, where traffic often is dense and stressful. It is therefore most important to mark the working area with warning tents and flashlights and that protective reflecting clothing is used. Marking the area is especially important during the dark period of the year with bare grounds when the darkness appears very dense. Under the winter season deep snow gives a lot of reflexes, and the warning lights can clearly be seen from far distances.  
  Working in darkness when the ground is bare, it is essential to really be aware and really trust the dog and read its body language. It can be hard to register any trace signs and to assess if the animal is wounded and if so how and how much. One help in the darkness is if reflexes from the eyes of the tracked animal are seen, as this might give info on how the animal behaves and from this assess its condition.
During the winter, some parts of the work can be easier as tracks often are easy to follow in the snow. Signs of injuries like stains of blood or anomalies in the track pattern depending on leg injuries gives good help when trying to estimate the condition of the animal.
But on the contrary, deep snow might also have a negative effect as it might limit the possibility of overtaking the animal and really deep snow really affects the possibility of using dogs.
  In this case the accident occurred at night in total darkness. One moose was hit by a car but two animals had been observed on the road. Tracks clearly showed signs of a cow and a calf and that both animals had left the road together. No signs of animal injuries could be seen at the accident site or in the tracks a short distance from the road. After about 50 meters small sign of blood began appearing in the tracks of one of the animals, and when following the tracks further the bloodstains were getting larger and irregularities in the tracks began to appear.
Along the tracks, there were several signs of the smaller of the animals that had been laying down and also had difficulties when trying to rise. With all registered signs it was quite easy to determine that the calf was severely injured with a broken right front leg. This kind of information is invaluable when making up the tactics for the rest of the work. When the animal finally was found and put to sleep, it felt good to see that  the interpretation of all signs was correct and the suffering was ended.
In a tracking situation like this, the snow gave a lot of help in spite of the darkness and the really deep snow, as all signs were easy to read.
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