Prince George’s recent heatwave has bear experts hoping weather doesn’t hurt the animal’s food source.
The hot weather has meant berries are maturing two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Many are already edible for bears.
Dave Bakker, president of the Northern Bear Awareness Society, says if the food supply is negatively impacted, bears can start wandering into the city, searching for food.
He says prolonged heat, like last year’s El Niño, can destroy berry crops.
“They were basically almost useless,” Bakker says.
Master gardener Birthe Miller says there was enough rainfall to help early fruit crops. Now, berries are starting to show signs of heat stress.
“If there’s no moisture, what [berries] do, is they try to protect themselves by either dropping the berries or their leaves and they start to shrivel up,” Miller says.