May 14, 2020
NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2020
Wanuskewin is delighted to once again announce the birth of a baby bison … three baby bison to be exact. Incredibly, these babies arrived on auspicious days, with the first calf arriving on Earth Day, the third arriving on May 5th Red Dress Day, and the last calf arriving on Mother’s Day May 10th. This new generation of bison is comprised of three females and one male and are the offspring of a new herd of bison with ancestral ties back to Yellowstone National Park.
This remarkable group of four calves is the first generation of bison babies to be born on this land since the signing of Treaty Six in 1876. Bison nearly became extinct in the late 1800’s dwindling from some 30 million throughout the Great Plains to fewer than 1000. It is the descendants of these last remaining animals that have found a new home at Wanuskewin as a conservation herd.
Wanuskewin Chief Executive Officer, Darlene Brander, is quoted: “Already, based on their birthdays we know these bison have an incredible sense of timing! It is an honour for our park to welcome these magnificent creatures back to their natural territory. We lay down tobacco to give thanks for their arrival and look forward to sharing this herd with all of the world. They have become a powerful symbol of hope and resilience during these trying times of isolation.”
Bison are a keystone species and are essential in the health and establishment of the Grasslands ecosystem. Wanuskewin has undertaken a Grasslands restoration project that has reclaimed a full section of land previously used for agricultural practices within the park border. Native Prairie Grasslands are the most endangered ecosystem in the world and require bison to act as a critical link in the food chain.
Wanuskewin Board Chair and co-Chair of the Thundering Ahead Capital Campaign, Felix Thomas stated: “By introducing bison back to the land we will be adding that essential element needed for balance in both a cultural and scientific sense. We aim to grow the park to act as a natural oasis within the city limits that will offer a place for families to come and connect with the land once again.”
We offer special gratitude to the Brownlee Family Foundation for their generous donation that has allowed history to be made, and this incredible story to unfold.
We kindly remind the public that all of Wanuskewin’s trails and facilities remain closed due to COVID-19. Wanuskewin will reopen during phase four of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Strategy.
Director of Marketing and Communications