'Made-in-Banff' bison calves born in park's backcountry for 1st time in more than 140 years
Bison are set to be released into a larger reintroduction zone later this summer
"Made-in-Banff" bison calves have been born in Banff National Park's backcountry for the first time in more than 140 years.
The three calves were born in the bison pasture.
"These were the first three bison calves that were born in Banff that were actually bred in Banff," said Bill Hunt of Parks Canada.
"We hope to have six more possibly."
Bison disappeared from the region before the national park was created in 1885.
From 1897 until 1997, there was a "display herd" of bison in a paddock in Banff, which was an attraction for visitors. But these new calves mark the first attempt to return the bison to the wild.
Sixteen plains bison were reintroduced to the park in early 2017 in a remote enclosure in Panther Valley, where the females had calves, bringing the herd to 26 animals.
"Things are looking good. The three calves that were born so far this year are very healthy and up and around," said Hunt.
The bison will be released into a larger, 1,200-square-kilometre reintroduction zone on the park's eastern slopes, sometime in the next few weeks when the stream water levels are good, Hunt said.
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