CALGARY, Aug. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - As many Canadians are aware, Parks Canada is delivering a project for the reintroduction of Bison to Banff National Park. The purpose of the project is to explore the feasibility of long-term restoration of wild Bison to Banff National Park after an absence of some 140 years. It is being delivered with the support of stakeholders and in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. In February 2017, Parks Canada transferred Bison from Elk Island National Park to the Panther Valley in Banff National Park. On July 29, 2018, the Banff Bison herd was released from the fenced soft released pasture that they had occupied since their arrival into a reintroduction zone that spans some 1,200 KM2. This approach to reintroduction is designed to establish a connection and anchor the Bison to the area.
On August 5, 2018, two Bison bulls left the area moving in separate directions out of the national park. On August 16, 2018, after numerous efforts to redirect the Bison bulls, Parks Canada made the difficult decision to euthanize one of the Bison bulls who had continued to move eastward toward private grazing lands and was posing a risk to public safety and to the safety of livestock. Parks Canada staff made tremendous efforts to encourage the Bison bull to return to the national park and closer to the reintroduction 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. Public safety is a priority for Parks Canada and this decision was made in order to protect the public and to uphold commitments made to the Province of Alberta and other stakeholders as part of the reintroduction project.
Parks Canada continues to monitor the second Bison bull that has been outside the reintroduction zone since August 5, 2018. Fortunately his movements are not posing a risk to public safety or to the safety of livestock. Efforts to reintroduce him to the national park are ongoing. The remaining 32 Bison have stayed within the heart of the reintroduction zone in Banff National Park's backcountry where they have continued to successfully adapt to their new home.
Parks Canada remains committed to restoring North America's largest land mammal to Canada's first national park.
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, [email protected]