Bison have returned to Banff national park in Canada.
It’s been over a century since the animals have roamed in the area.
The animals have been successfully reintroduced in a herd of 16. They were almost hunted to extinction after settlers came to North America and Canada.
Indigenous groups have applauded the move, which is set to restore the natural ecosystem.
According to a BBC report.
The animals were once the dominant grazers in the park, in addition to being spiritually significant to Canada’s aboriginal groups, supplying them with food, clothing and shelter.
The herd will eventually be released into a far wider area of the park where they will be at liberty to interact with other native animals and search for food, The Calgary Herald reported.
It said the hope is that natural barriers and wildlife fencing will stop the bison from wandering astray.
“By returning plains bison to Banff National Park, Parks Canada is taking an important step toward restoring the full diversity of species and natural processes to the park’s ecosystems while providing new opportunities for Canadians and visitors to connect with the story of this iconic species,” Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said.
At one time, there were as many as 30 million bison on the plains but they were hunted almost to extinction with only a handful remaining in government-controlled areas.
There are already four extinct forms of bison. Banff National Park is hailing their return as a “historic and cultural triumph.” This five-year pilot program is meant to “inform future decisions regarding restoring wild bison in Banff over the long-term,” the park says.