Parks Canada has euthanized a recently freed bison bull that roamed out of Banff National Park.
The wandering bison was part of a herd moved from Elk Island National Park in February 2017 as part of Parks Canada’s five-year plan to re-establish a wild bison population in Banff.
The animal was one of two bulls that left the park on August 5 after the herd was released from a monitored pasture into a 1200 sq km reintroduction zone in late July. One of the roaming bulls continued to move eastward toward private grazing lands, posing a safety risk to livestock and the public, Parks Canada said in a news release.
Staff were unsuccessful in their efforts to encourage the bull to return to the release zone.
“The decision to euthanize the bull was taken only after every other possible solution was tried or examined by highly trained, professional and dedicated Parks Canada staff who are committed to conservation and the protection of species like bison,” the park said on August 17, a day after the animal was euthanized.
According to the park, the second wandering bison does not pose a safety risk. Staff are continuing to monitor the bull as they try to move him back into the park.

The 32 other bison in the herd, including the first calves to be born in the wild in Banff in over 140 years, are staying close to the reintroduction zone.
Parks Canada said they remain committed to restoring North America’s largest land mammal to Canada’s first national park.

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