After 140 years bison have returned to Banff National Park in Alberta. As many as 30 million bison once roamed the plains, but were hunted to near extinction. The return of the bison has been managed by Parks Canada. The herd was moved from Elk Island National Park to a remote valley in Banff, where they will be kept for 16 months under observation by staff. After this they will be fully released and free to move throughout a large area of the park.
The bison are a keystone species, one that has been missing for over a century, it is hoped that the return of the bison will have a positive impact on the national park. They are an example of the horrors and destruction that humans can cause, and many were killed to cut off food supplies and control the First Nations people, who relied heavily on the bison, their return is not only good for the ecosystem, but a symbolic gesture to try and right the wrongs of the past. I for one look forward to seeing these magnificent animals roam free in Banff National Park.