One autumn we took the long trip up into the Wood Buffalo National Park, in Alberta, via the Northwest Territories, to see the mighty Wood Bison. We would drive for miles and miles and see absolutely nothing for wildlife, as we travelled through the barren land to get there. Upon arriving in the park, our hopes would be ignited with the sightings of bison poop on the road! When out driving the long-isolated roads within the park, we would get excited whenever we spotted large dark spots down the road, as these massive, large animals could be spotted a couple of miles away as they grazed along the roadside.
Wood bison lived in Alaska for more than 400,000 years and within the last 10,000 years the wood bison roamed freely in Alaska and parts of Canada. Over hunting, habitat destruction and disease caused their numbers to decrease to almost extinction. In 1922, The Wood Buffalo National Park was established to protect the last herd of free roaming wood bison. Although we were too early to catch the fall colors, in this the largest undisturbed grass and sedge meadows left in North America, it was rather a unique experience to see these massive bison, known as “Tatanka” to the Lakota nation, in their natural habitat they call home.
- Stan Masters
To download the story CLICK HERE