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Wild Bison are Back in Banff National Park!

After an absence of over 100 years, wild bison are roaming the backcountry of Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park.  Driven almost to extinction in one human lifetime, the plains bison numbered an estimated 30 million across western Canada centuries ago.  Parks Canada, the federal government agency responsible for national park management, has taken the lead in restoring healthy bison populations in national parks in Canada. 

The bison that have been reintroduced into Banff National Park came from Elk Island National Park, located further north in the province of Alberta and only a 35 minute drive east of the provincial capital of Edmonton.  For over 18 months, the bison were held in a massive “soft-pasture” area to help anchor them to their new environment.  Now they are free to roam a 1,200 square kilometer (463 square mile) re-introduction zone of valleys and mountain slopes in one of Canada’s most beautiful regions.Now there are even more reasons to visit Banff on your next vacation or holiday.

Photo Credit:  Government of Canada, Parks Canada

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