Berry season in Banff prompts Parks Canada advisory as bears roam and forage for food

Carry bear spray, travel in groups and make noise, parks official says.

It’s berry season in Banff, and Parks Canada is advising visitors to the national park to be on the lookout for grizzly and black bears searching for food and feeding in the bushes. 

For the rest of summer and into the fall, bears will be trying to acquire the caloric intake needed to hibernate over the winter, Parks Canada’s Dan Rafla told CBC News.

They are in a race against the first frost or snow of the season, and can become hyper-focused on feeding.

“If they find a really good area with lots of berries, they’ll persist in that area,” Rafla said.

“That’s really what’s going to help them survive the winter. I mean, there’s no food, beyond that, until next spring.”

And with a shortage of buffalo berries in the park this year — which Rafla said are normally “the main berry for this part of the world” — it is likely that bears will be roaming around as they forage for food.

“This year isn’t nearly as good [for berries] as last year,” Rafla said. “So they’re going to have to travel more.”

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