Wild bison destined for Banff National Park are prepared for loading and travel at Elk Island National Park’s bison handling facility. Courtesy Parks Canada

After 140 years, plains bison are once again roaming their historical range in Banff’s Eastern Slopes.
Parks Canada has successfully relocated 16 wild bison from Elk Island National Park to the remote Panther Valley in Banff National Park.
For 16 months, the bison will remain in an enclosed pasture in the valley 40 kilometres north of Banff, and will be monitored by Parks Canada. In summer 2018, the herd will be released to explore a 1,200-square-kilometre zone in the Red Deer and Cascade river valleys where they will be free to interact with other native species and forage for food. Natural barriers and stretches of wildlife fencing will hopefully discourage the bison from leaving the zone.
“It’s a great event to have a keystone species return to one of our nation’s most iconic places,” Banff National Park superintendent Dave McDonough said at the official announcement Monday. “It’s a perfect way to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary …
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