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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Glenous Favata, longtime registrar at the Toledo Zoo, retired June 30 after 45 years of full-time service.

Favata worked with keepers and curators to track all the animals that are born or hatched at the zoo, and animals that arrive at or leave the zoo, along with the animals’ training sessions and veterinary procedures. Registrars also manage zoos’ extensive permits, regulations and laws on local, state and federal levels.

With 6,000-plus animals and more than 40 endangered species living at the Toledo Zoo, maintaining accurate records is a key part of excellent animal care.

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Glenous Favata, longtime registrar at the Toledo Zoo

“Glenous has been a major force in the success of the Toledo Zoo for more than four decades. Her contributions to both this zoo and our profession as a whole cannot be overstated,” Jeff Sailer, executive director of the Toledo Zoo, said. “I have enjoyed working with her, and she will be greatly missed.”

Favata graduated from Waite High School. While she was a college student, she started working summers at Wonder Valley, the former children’s zoo near the historic Amphitheatre. In 1969, after earning her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Ohio State University, she started working full-time at the zoo as a swing keeper in the mammal department. She was the zoo’s first female keeper in that department.

Favata’s responsibilities as a keeper of that era included the care and hand-rearing of many young animals, including gorillas, orangutans, lions and tigers; she was also part of the team that achieved the world’s first successful artificial insemination of a chimpanzee.

This was the same era when Cheetah Valley first opened to the public. (Toledo Zoo cheetah cubs, born in 1971, were the first cubs ever raised by their mother at a U.S. zoo).

Favata also represented the zoo in Species Survival Plan (SSPs) management groups, which are collaborative reproduction programs that help ensure healthy, genetically diverse populations in zoo environments throughout North America.

In 1980, Favata became the zoo’s first female curator of mammals (and one of the few in the U.S.) before being named the zoo’s first registrar in 1994.

In 2012, she implemented a new recordkeeping system at the zoo that linked the facility’s records to more than 800 zoos and aquariums in 84 countries around the world. This created the largest online global knowledgebase of zoological information ever assembled.

She also served as co-administrator of the Institutional Record Keeping course coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the organization that accredits the Toledo Zoo and more than 200 other zoos in North America.

“Working at the Toledo Zoo has been a truly rewarding experience,” Favata said. “Over all these years, I have seen lots of changes and have been privileged to work closely with the animals, staff and guests.”

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