About the Zoo
History of the Zoo
As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society is eleven years young, but as a treasured community landmark, our history spans over a century. Founded in 1906 by General Harry C. Trexler, a local industrialist, the Lehigh Valleys Trexler Game Preserve has educated and entertained more than five million people.
General Trexler played a significant role in saving the North American bison from extinction by providing a place where both bison and elk could roam freely undisturbed. In 1935, the County of Lehigh took ownership of the Preserve, and in 1974, construction began on the Preserve’s 29-acre Zoo. In 2004, the Lehigh Valley Zoological Society assumed management of the Zoo, as well as the daily management of the bison and elk herd and the palominos in the 1,100-acre Trexler Nature Preserve.
General attendance at Lehigh Valley Zoo grew from 63,000 visitors in 2005 to over 135,000 visitors in 2014 and over 35,000 students participated in our formal education programs. In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 the Zoo was voted Best Family Day Trip in The Morning Call’s Readers’ Choice Awards.