Bison cross a river for the first time – Banff National Park


We’re here in early July. It’s 5 months since we brought bison from Elk Island National Park to the backcountry of Banff National Park into what we call a “soft-release pasture”. Up until now, the bison have been contained in a winter pasture. Now we’ve prepared a summer pasture for them, and tomorrow we are going to release them into that where they have twice as much area, access to a river, and they have natural forage. It will be the first time that these animals, coming from Elk Island encounter a moving river, it will be the first time that they go up steep slopes, and it will be the first time that they are exposed to the natural vegetation that BNP has to offer. It’s going to be so exciting to see how they respond. This is a relatively small step, but it’s a really important step towards them being self-sufficient once we release them to be free-roaming. The animals are definitely a little bit wilder today than they were yesterday, and that hillside is a now a little bit wilder as well. This is the scene that is going to play out throughout Banff National Park in one year.

15 thoughts on “Bison cross a river for the first time – Banff National Park

  1. Clearly these big herbivores would keep grassland from turning into thicket and woodland.

  2. I agree. A very exciting and important re-introduction. Liked the video as well, except the weird colour balance shift at 2 min. mark.

  3. That's nice but just down the street the restaurants serve bison burger .

  4. Yes. Go Canada. It's been close to 40 years since I've been to that part of the world, but it's been etched in my mind. These creatures will only add to an already stunning environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *