Syncrude’s Wood Bison Herd Welcomes Over 50 New Calves

Syncrude’s wood bison herd is adding over 50 new calves.

Every spring, the pack welcomes new members with this year’s calving season being a little delayed.

“Right now we have more than 50 calves, a little less than a few other years, but fairly standard,” said Brad Ramstead, Ranch Manager

“We’re still getting more calves so we don’t know yet what the final number will be.”

The herd now has around 300 animals with the company able to manage its size through sales at auctions. The majority of sales are for calves, yearlings, and two-year-olds.

These new calves will stay with their mothers throughout the summer and into the fall. At the end of October, all the animals will be brought in for their annual round-up.

“We tag the new calves, conduct herd health checks and administer all annual vaccinations,” added Ramstead.

Syncrude has been taking care of wood bison since 1993. The original 30 animals were transferred from Elk Island National Park which is around 35 kilometres east of Edmonton.

They had partnered with the Fort McKay First Nation to repatriate the bison as the subspecies was endemic to this region.

“The herd demonstrates our commitment to reclaiming the land disturbed by our operations,” noted Jesse Hall, Syncrude’s Manager – Tailings and Lease Development.

“The herd, which is co-managed with the Fort McKay First Nation, also demonstrates our commitment to working with Indigenous communities in the region.”

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