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Canada Reintroduced Bison To A National Park And They Look So Happy To Be Home

Millions of bison once roamed the prairies, until they were hunted to near extinction.

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Wild bison have been reintroduced to Banff National Park in Alberta after more than a century without the iconic animals roaming the hills.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada released 16 bison in the remote Panther Valley on Feb. 1, where they will be monitored in an enclosed pasture for more than a year before being allowed to roam freely around a larger part of the national park.

The bison were driven about 400 kilometres in shipping containers, then airlifted to their final destination.

Parks Canada

According to Parks Canada, the 16 bison are primarily pregnant two-year-olds.

Millions of bison once roamed the Canadian prairies, and they were important to many Indigenous peoples who relied on the herds for survival. But overhunting, primarily by European settlers, nearly wiped out the species by the late 19th century.

According to Parks Canada, reintroducing wild bison to Banff "will be a key contribution to national and international bison conservation efforts."

Look how happy the bison are to be back home. 😍

Parks Canada // BuzzFeed Canada

The return of wild bison to Banff coincides with Canada's 150th birthday. With any luck, these 16 will be the first wave of a new wild population roaming the same lands where bison existed for thousands of years.

Here's the full video of the relocation.

Parks Canada

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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