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Bison euthanized after wandering from Banff National Park

Parks Canada has euthanized a bison bull after it wandered too far from Banff National Park and its designated grounds.

Officials say a pair of bison bulls wandered off, one of which was migrating toward private grazing land that posed a safety risk to both the public and to livestock in the area.

<who>Photo Credit: The Canadian Press

Parks Canada stated they attempted to coax the bull back to the national park, but were unsuccessful.

"The decision to euthanize the bull was taken only after every other possible solution was tried or examined by highly trained, professional, and dedicated Parks Canada staff who are committed to conservation and the protection of species like bison," Christie Thomson, a Parks Canada spokeswoman said Friday in a statement.

The bull was apart of reintroduction project that began in February 2017 which brought sixteen plains bison from Elk Island National Park into the park, specifically, into the remote Panther River Valley approximately 40 kilometres north of Banff.

Both bison were apart of a herd that was allowed to roam free on July 29, the two wandered off on Aug. 5.

<who>Photo Credit: Parks Canada</who>

"Public safety is a priority for Parks Canada and this decision was made in order to protect the public and to uphold commitments made to the Province of Alberta and other stakeholders as part of the reintroduction project," commented Thomson.

The second bison bull is still being monitored by staff.

<who>Photo Credit: Parks Canada</who>

"Fortunately his movements are not posing a risk to public safety or to the safety of livestock. Efforts to reintroduce him to the national park are ongoing."

Parks Canada had said they were prepared for the possibility that the bison would wander off and was working closely with the province and the landowners in the area.

- With files from The Canadian Press

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