WATCH: Bison roaming Banff National Park once again

Bison have returned to Banff National Park after more than a century-long absence.

Parks Canada says that as part of a $6.4-million project, it has moved 16 of the animals to the mountainous landscape where the species was once a dominant grazer.

The beasts were driven 400 kilometres in custom-modified shipping containers on trucks from Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton to just outside Banff.

The crates were hoisted up by a helicopter and flown to a pasture inside the park, where the bison were released.

The herd will be penned in the pasture for about 16 months and closely monitored by Parks Canada staff.

The bison are to be released in the summer of 2018 into a 1,200-square-kilometre zone in Banff's remote eastern slopes, reclaiming their historic role in the ecosystem.