With hot weather covering much of British Columbia and expected to stay in until at least Sunday, experts warn that the high temperatures could have dangerous effects on wildlife.
It will be common to see all the different species trying to stay cool during hot weather and this can include using backyard baths or even a bird bath.
High temperatures can lead to life-threatening dehydration, impact shock and other serious health complications for animals, according to the British Columbia Wildlife Rescue Society.
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“It is important for the public to know what to do if a heat-sensitive animal is detected to help wildlife have the best chance of surviving extreme weather events,” the organization said.
They recommend that the public assist wildlife by placing a bird bath or shallow dish for the animals to drink and cool off and making sure to refill as it evaporates in the heat.
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The bath should be no more than five centimeters deep to prevent small animals from drowning and should be cleaned and changed regularly to help prevent the spread of bird flu.
The organization also recommends providing some shade for the animals by rearranging the plants to provide shade or placing a small canopy.
“As last year’s heat wave continues on many people’s minds, more and more people are concerned about the well-being of wildlife,” Jackie McQuillan, president of the Wildlife Rescue Support Center, said in a statement.
“We want the public to be aware of signs of overheating in wildlife, such as panting, breathing with an open mouth, puffy feathers and lethargy.”
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If members of the public see wildlife in distress, they can contact Wildlife Help Center at 604-526-7275.
BC wildlife can often be spotted cooling off in ponds or backyard ponds.
Recently, Prince George’s resident Brian Skakon captured a bear diving in a pond along a walkway.
The bear can be seen swimming and splashing in the cooling water.
Skakun told Global News that he has about 15 trail cameras set up in this area and he enjoys watching the wildlife that will come and explore.
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Additionally, Richmond resident Heather Galbraith caught a family of raccoons playing and splashing in her backyard pool for about two hours this week.
She told Global News that they would jump in the pool, then go wrestling in the backyard and when it got too hot, they would jump in the pool again.
“They must have gone four or five times but I couldn’t get angry because they were so nice,” Galbraith said.
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