Banff National Park’s newly wild bison herd is getting used to life without fences.
 
Parks Canada staff recently released the small herd from a monitored pasture into 1200 sq km of backcountry wilderness as part of a five-year plan to re-establish the area’s bison population. 
 
With two calves born since the release, there are now 33 bison roaming the park. The baby bison have a pretty special claim to fame -- they're Banff's first wild-born bison in over 140 years. And more babies are on the way. Parks Canada reports that the herd will grow to 36 if all the expectant cows successfully give birth.
 
“However, because they are no longer in a paddock, the births of free-roaming bison are more difficult to confirm,” the park said in an August 9 update.
 
Most of the animals are staying close to their initial release area, but a few of the more adventurous bulls have roamed a little farther, with one leaving the heart of the reintroduction zone to graze in a remote valley in provincial land northeast of the park.
 
Parks staff will continue to monitor the wandering bull. All of the adults in the group are outfitted with GPS collars. Parks Canada said that with a free-roaming herd, it's always possible that some are going to venture out of the release zone.
 
"Parks Canada is prepared for this situation and is working closely with the Province of Alberta, stakeholders and regional residents to return the bison bull to an appropriate area," the park said.
 
Signs have been posted at trailheads in the area advising visitors about traveling safely in bison country.
 
The plains bison herd started life in Elk Island National Park and were moved to Banff in 2017.

More Local News

Gibbons schools put on hold and secure

Gibbons School and Landing Trail School had to take precautionary measures.

Made-in-Alberta to potentially invest up to $20 billion in the heartland

Premier Rachel Notley's Made-in-Alberta strategy could have a big payoff in the region.

St. Albert resident wins $7.9 million on LOTTO 6/49

An Alberta man recently hit the jackpot.

Bruderheim growing in population

Bruderheim's recent census results showed growth in the town.

Speeder caught going 149 km/h on Highway 15 bridge

A man was recently pulled over for excessive speeding in the area.

Having troubles studying? EIPS has some tips

With students getting ready for their January exams, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) have some advise.

New hemp facility setting up in Bruderheim

More business is coming to the Town of Bruderheim.

Province releases top baby names for 2018

The most common baby names of 2018 in Alberta were announced earlier this week.

Thieves target 5-year-old boy, community steps up

It was a rough start to the year for Ryan and Karson Boettger.

ASIRT wraps investigation on Fort Saskatchewan RCMP officer

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has finished an investigation involving a Fort Saskatchewan officer.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login