A roaring place to visit near our region: A summer road trip that could be zoo-rific!
From penguins to giraffes, there is one wild place near our region that could create some family fun, and it’s all a day’s drive away.
SCHNECKSVILLE, PA – Here’s one more reason to go wild this weekend or some other time in the summer: a visit to the zoo!
If your family fancy a road trip that isn’t too far from home, how about a Lehigh Valley Zoo cruise.
Ryan Leckey of Newswatch 16 visited the nonprofit just outside of Allentown on Friday.
The story of Lehigh Valley Zoo according to its website:
The Lehigh Valley Zoo’s mission is to create a safe, engaging and informative wildlife experience for visitors of all ages, while demonstrating leadership in the cultural, scientific and conservation communities.
Founded in 1906 by General Harry C. Trexler, a local industrialist, the Trexler Nature Reserve played an important role in saving North American bison from extinction by providing a place where bison and elk could move freely without being disturbed. In 1935, Lehigh County took possession of the reserve, and in 1974, construction of the reserve’s 29-acre zoo began. In 2004, the Lehigh Valley Zoological Society assumed management of the zoo, as well as day-to-day management of the bison and elk and palomino herd in the 1,100-acre Trexler Nature Reserve.
As a non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoo is a relatively young organization, but as a treasured community monument, our history spans over a century. Lehigh Valley Zoo, located in the heart of Trexler Nature Reserve, is home to more than 325 animal ambassadors representing more than 125 species.
The zoo’s animal collection includes more than 22 species managed collectively through the Species Survival Plan Program ™ (SSP), administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In order to share important conservation messages with zoo guests and contribute to conservation on the ground, the zoo contributes, participates and initiates wildlife conservation programs in the home and in the field.
Spotlight on the zoo’s conservation projects: the spotted turtle (local), the Mexican gray wolf (national) and the African penguin (international). You can learn more about the zoo’s conservation efforts by visiting the zoo’s Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Center, watching a daily African penguin meal, and observing a real wolf meal throughout the year. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and an institutional member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), the zoo organizes year-round events and activities for the whole family, educational programs and camps.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo is proud to be listed as an Education Improvement Organization under the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC). Over 35,000 students have participated in our formal education programs. Overall attendance at Lehigh Valley Zoo increased from 63,000 visitors (2005) to over 200,000 visitors (2017).
Open year-round, the zoo has been voted Best Family Outing in Lehigh Valley Style’s Best of the Lehigh Valley since 2009.
Additionally, Winter Light Spectacular, an annual fundraising event that began in 2016, drew an additional 341,000 guests to the zoo, including 58,000 in 2018 and 57,000 in 2020. The event was presented at scale National by USA Today in “Holiday Light Exhibits Worth Visiting for Across America” in 2019 and by the Los Angeles Times in “‘Christmas City’ is a real place. And yes, it’s kind of like living in a Hallmark movie ‘in 2020.