Toledo Zoo to dedicate plaque to former employee after his passing

Ray Anderson dedicated more than 19 years as a zoo ride operator
Ray Anderson dedicated more than 19 years as a zoo ride operator
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium gears up for a busy summer season, there is one notable absence in the park. On May 7, 2021, the zoo lost one of its veteran staff members. According to zoo leaders, Ray Anderson passed away following an unexpected cancer diagnosis. He served as the #2 Amusement Rides Supervisor, working as a ride operator for the Historic Train and Historic South Carousel, African Animal Carousel and the Safari Railway Train Ride. Anderson dedicated nearly 20 years to the zoo.

“He’s definitely going to be a missed individual here at the zoo. Both from the guests, and the employees alike,” said Christopher Martin, Vice President of Park Operations for the Toledo Zoo. “We’re talking about a gentleman who ran across thousands of guests over the years, to the point where he’d be out shopping for groceries and he’d have guests and kids run up to him and say ‘you’re the train guy!’”

Martin is also taking the lead on a special project to immortalize Anderson’s contributions. He set up a GoFundMe campaign to collect donations for an animal plaque on the African Animal Carousel. It will be affixed underneath one of the carousel animals -- most likely the ostrich. More than half of the $5,000 goal has been raised so far. If you’d like to contribute, you can donate on the GoFundMe page, or contact the zoo directly at (419) 385-5721. Martin says the zoo is also welcoming guests and employees to share their stories about how Ray Anderson has left an impact on their lives. You can share them on the GoFundMe page, or on their Facebook. The stories will be collected and compiled into a book for Anderson’s widow.

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