Lean in close. We have a secret to share.
It's about a regal beast
that roams the Northland –
still king of its domain.
So if you promise not to tell, we'll let you in on our secret.
Here's 9 reasons why wild bison are a wonder of the Northwest Territories:
Wood bison are dark brown to nearly black, with a huge head, a pronounced muscular hump, and a shaggy mane of soft hair on their shoulders and forelegs. Males' horns are short, dark and curve inward; females' are straighter. Both sexes moult twice per year, in spring and fall.
It’s common to see newborn red calves among the herd. Their mothers, having been impregnated during the fall rut, gestate for up to 300 days before giving birth in late spring. They usually bear two calves every three years. Wolves are the baby bisons’ main predator. In rare instances, travellers have witnessed wolf packs stalking bison calves.
Another 700 wood bison inhabit the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary near Fort Providence. They are frequently seen browsing along Highway 3, or even lounging in the middle of the road. Indeed, travellers are warned to drive with caution, as crashes involving bison are not uncommon.
Bison are generally unafraid of people, and sometimes wander freely right in town. In the communities of Fort Providence and Fort Liard they often stroll the streets and browse in gardens. When they become too much of a nuisance, local “bison wranglers” on all-terrain vehicles shoo the animals out of town.
Learn more about the wood bison and other wild creatures of the spectacular Northwest Territories by checking out our wildlife- and nature-viewing tours and attractions.