The bison herd at Trexler Nature Preserve has a new addition. The healthy young female was born on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Bison calves weigh 30-70 pounds at birth and have reddish- brown fur that darkens as they age. The calf and mother can be seen with the herd in the Preserve. Bison are the largest mammal in North America. Male bison, called bulls, weigh up to 2,000 pounds and may stand up to six feet tall. Female bison, called cows, can weigh up to 1000 pounds and can reach a height of 4-5 feet.
The North America bison population underwent a drastic decline in the 19th century caused by overhunting but has since partially recovered. When General Harry C. Trexler (1854-1933) established the Preserve in the early 1900s, he did so to save the American bison, elk, and white-tailed deer from extinction and assure the species' survival. Bison are considered “Near Threatened” by the IUCN and bison herds are dependent on conservation programs, like the one in Trexler Nature Preserve, to persist beyond the next 5 years. The calf and mom are being monitored by Lehigh Valley Zoo animal care staff as they roam the hillsides of the 1,100-acre Trexler Nature Preserve which surrounds the Zoo property. Lehigh Valley Zoo is contracted by Lehigh County to care for the elk and bison in the Trexler Nature Preserve. Also included in the County’s contract with the Zoo are palomino horses, which reside within the Zoo.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo, located at 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville, PA 18078, is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For more information on event schedules visit their Facebook page.