Lehigh Valley

Baby bison born at Lehigh County preserve

Preserve welcomes first baby bison to be born in 9 years

The pitter-patter of little feet or hooves can now be heard at the Trexler Lehigh County Nature Preserve and Zoo.

The preserve has seen its first bison birth in nearly nine years, officials said.

The little guy, or girl, was born April 17 to proud papa, Big Boy ,and Mamma Trexi 102 years after after Gen. Harry Trexler brought bison to Lehigh County.

"This is really all about having people of Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley be able to enjoy the natural setting and the animals in a natural process and environment of watching little ones come from bigger ones here in nature," said Don Cunningham.

While serving as the Lehigh County executive, Cunningham found out the county's bison were on birth control to manage the herd. That resulted in fertility problems.

Two new females were brought in to help repopulate the herd, which now stands at 10, plus one wobbly member.

"When you talk about the size of our herd, it's not a big herd, but it's a big herd in Lehigh County," said Rich Molchany, with the Trexler Preserve.

The largest herd is at Yellowstone National Park.

Officials said bison are no longer in danger of being physically extinct, but genetic extinction is another matter.

Over the years, bison have been bred with other livestock. Officials said that is why a pure-bred herd like the one in Lehigh County is important.

"It's truly a jewel within our park system and unfortunately not as well known to everyone as it should be," said Tom Muller, Lehigh County's director of administration.

Preserve officials said bison are so big and so stand-offish, the new addition to the herd came as a surprise.

They're hoping another bundle of joy will follow, but they first have to come up with a name. Perhaps General is fitting since the baby bison was born on General Trexler's birthday.

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