Syncrude Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of Beaver Creek Wood Bison Ranch

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Syncrude Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of Beaver Creek Wood Bison Ranch

Life at the Beaver Creek Wood Bison Ranch continues to flourish.

That’s according to Syncrude – who say since April 22, 70 new calves have been born, on this – the 25th anniversary of bison roaming the oil giant’s reclaimed lands.

A herd of 30 bison arrived from Elk Island National Park in February of 1993 – and since that number has grown to around 300.

Syncrude spokesperson Leithan Slade tells Fort McMurray News the exponential growth in population shows that Syncrude can have a positive impact on animal life.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the health and genetics of our wood bison, they’re considered pure breed and it’s been an enormously successful initiative for us and our partners, included the Fort McKay First Nations.”

Syncrude says they expect around 100 more calves to be born on site this year.

Over the winter, a portion of the herd was relocated to the North Pasture – known as East Toe Berm, a move that came after 5 years of planning and preparation.

Slade says this allows the bison to live in a more natural environment.

“There’s actually quite a few trees and so in the past, the bison had been living in areas that were more like grass pastures. So, being able to relocate a portion of the herd to this new area complete with trees is really exciting and the animals have adapted well.”

Syncrude will be moving some of the animals to their Wood Bison viewpoint in June – located new the Mildred Lake site off Highway 63 – which will be open to the public.
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