FIRST BISON CALVES BORN
IN BANFF IN OVER 140 YEARS
by Meghan J. Ward
After a successful translocation of bison from Elk Island National Park to Banff National Park in February 2017, the first calf was born on what is perhaps the most fitting of days – Earth Day. It is the first time bison calves have been born in the national park in over 140 years.
For the first time in over 140 years, bison calves were born in the backcountry of Banff National Park. Part of a larger initiative to reintroduce wild bison to Banff, the first calf was born in the Panther Valley on Earth Day (April 22, 2017) and, since then, two more have joined the group. Seven more cows are expected to give birth in the coming days.
“Banff will be the only home they’ve ever known,” says Bill Hunt, Resource Conservation Manager with Parks Canada. “The calves are happy and healthy, nursing well and doing great.”
Introducing pregnant cows is part of the strategy Parks Canada has put in place to help tie the bison to the landscape of Banff National Park. You can learn more about that strategy and the history of their reintroduction in Reintroducing Bison to Banff – A Timeline.
Writer, adventurer, outdoorsy mama and summit cartwheeler, Meghan J. Ward is the editor and co-founder at Crowfoot Media and lives for backcountry getaways.