Around 140 years ago, American Bison were brought over to Canada from the United States state of Montana by the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and now those Bison’s offspring will be getting sent back to their ancestors’ homeland to re-populate the area.
As reported by Smithsonian Magazine, a treaty that took place in 2014 will be working to restore American Bison population in the state of Montana, and this means bringing a herd back home where they can mate and re-populate.
“For thousands of years the Blackfeet lived among the buffalo here. The buffalo sustained our way of life, provided our food, clothing, shelter,” Blackfeet chairman Harry Barnes said. “It became part of our spiritual being. We want to return the buffalo.”
The current population of American Bison in the United States isn’t very high, but back in the day, there were millions in the native area of Montana. They were long hunted for their meat, and today, they are even interbred with basic cattle.
The animals that will be returning home to Montana, United States are pure-blooded American Bison, and nothing less. They’ve never been interbred with other cattle and they have lived a life of solitude among nothing more than themselves.
It’s said that 89 of them will be returning to the United States, where they will be given the opportunity to roam at least 4,000 square miles of landscape. This includes the Blackfeet reservation, Glacier national park, and even some of the nearby wilderness.
Many of these creatures will remain in Canada where they’ve been thriving, and will continue to be distributed to national parks for preservation throughout Canada, but by sending some back to their ancestors’ homeland, the Blackfeet peoples hope to further their culture and traditions in the area.
Although many are excited to see the animals return, farmers aren't so much, as the animals may carry a disease known as brucellosis, which can cause reproductive issues in native cattle. There will need to be additional efforts put in place to keep these wild animals from getting in contact with the cattle farmers are trying to raise for farming purposes.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine