Do you remember where you were in 1876?
Yeah, neither do we, but the world was a very different place. No computers, no smartphones, no planes, no tr— well, actually there were trains back then. But you get the point. A lot has happened in the last 150 years or so.
And if you were somehow magically old enough to remember those times, and you lived in Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, then this past April would've given you a strange feeling of deja vu. A tickle of ancient memories long buried.
Is it just me, you'd say, or are there...
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For the first time since the year 1876 a bison has been born on the land at Wanuskewin. We thank the Elders for their guidance during this exciting time! Although the park remains closed at this time we cannot wait to welcome the community back to join us https://1l.ink/HJV48G2
...BABY BISON here again?!
First time in a century and a half
On April 22, 2020 (Earth Day!), the first bison calf was born in Wanuskewin Heritage Park since 1876. Incredible! For the First Nations elders who run the park, it was a very important moment.
For thousands of years, enormous herds of bison roamed the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains of the United States. But throughout the 1800s, these herds were systematically hunted by settlers until the animals were on the verge of extinction.
This Earth Day birth was a sign of the bison's rightful return to this part of the prairies. And since then, that young calf has got some company.
Three more siblings!
Yep, not one, not two, but three more baby bison! With the final one arriving this past Mother's Day, there are now three females and one male in the herd.
These bison are special because they represent some of the few pure-breed bison herds in the world. One herd was reintroduced to the wild in Banff National Park in 2017. A few more live in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, and other parks across Canada. In fact, the herd at Wanuskewin was started by eleven bison brought over from Yellowstone and Saskatchewan's Grasslands Park in December.
In other words, it's been a long road back for these beautiful beasts. And while the journey is far from over, it does feel like a time for celebration. Watch these four babies enjoy the great outdoors in the video below!