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Elk Island National Park

Wood Bison Handling

Elk Island National Park is the home of Canada’s conservation herds for Plains and Wood Bison. For over 100 years Parks Canada has cared for and maintained these herds; plains bison beginning in 1907 and wood bison in 1967. By sharing bison with conservation projects around the world, Parks Canada has played a vital role in bringing bison back from the brink of extinction. To ensure our herds remain healthy and viable each herd is managed in alternate years: one year wood bison (found in the park area south of Hwy 16); the next year plains bison (found north of Hwy 16). A handling facility is located in each area and the process is the same for each sub-species. Follow the disease-testing and handling progress through these photos from the Wood Bison Handling of January of 2015.

Aerial view a collection of fenced enclosures surrounded by open pasture and aspen forest. About 100 bison can be seen in the foreground pasture. Over three days 350 bison will be moved from the outer pastures through the day handling pen, along the alleyway, around the swing gate tub, through the single chutes to the squeeze room in the very centre of the Wood Bison handling facility where our vet will access each animal.
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