Wood Buffalo National Park

Confirmed Anthrax Outbreak in Wood Buffalo National Park

Issued: July 14, 2023

FORT SMITH, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, JULY 14, 2023 – A confirmed anthrax outbreak is being monitored in northwestern areas of Wood Buff. The risk to the public is very low.

  • Each summer, Resource Conservation staff at Wood Buffalo National Park conduct routine surveillance flights in the park. On June 30th, 2023, staff observed deceased bison in an area by the Nyarling River in the northern part of the park.
  • Seven bison were observed deceased and Resource Conservation staff responded and conducted two anthrax field tests, yielding both a positive and negative result. Samples were sent to a lab for testing and anthrax was confirmed on July 10, 2023.
  • Following the initial discovery of seven carcasses, two additional carcasses were observed on the same stretch of Highway 5, bringing the total number of bison to 9.
  • Park staff will be conducting aerial and ground level monitoring to identify any new occurrences.
  • Due to this anthrax outbreak, the following areas are under restrictions:
    • There is an Area Closure in place for the Nyarling roadside pull-out along Highway 5, in the northwestern area of the park
    • There is a no-stopping Traffic Control Order in place for Highway 5 from just south of Angus Day Use Area to the Mile 99 Fire Base

Parks Canada is working with relevant provincial, territorial and federal organizations, local communities and visitors to ensure the health and safety of the public and Parks Canada team members.

If you come across a dead animal in the park, do not touch it. Leave the area immediately and report the location to the Wood Buffalo National Park Duty Officer at (867) 872-0404.

Further information will be shared as details become known. Please review the attached fact sheet for what you should know about anthrax and its outbreaks.

For up-to-date information on the anthrax outbreak or any temporary closures in Wood Buffalo National Park, please go to pc.gc.ca/woodbuffalo.


Sierra Stinson
Communications Officer, Wood Buffalo National Park

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