For the first time in 140 years, wild bison calves are being born in Banff National Park. Fittingly, the first was born on April 22, a perfect addition to our Earth Day celebrations.
Since then, two more have arrived and seven are expected very soon. According to Bill Hunt, a resource conservation manager with Parks Canada, this demonstrates that the reintroduction of wild bison into the area was a promising endeavour.
“It’s a really key step, and the fact that these young calves look so healthy and so well adjusted in this habitat is really encouraging,” Hunt told CBC.
It is the hope of officials that this process will help secure the bison to their new habitat. “It’s a huge step in this process,” said Hunt. “We know…that where a young female drops her calf it really ties her to that space even if she was born somewhere else.”
Due to factors such as overhunting, this reintroduction of wild bison into Banff National Park is not only a celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, but a way to restore Indigenous connections to bison and this national park.