A zookeeper in Missouri was killed today by an elephant.
MSN reports that John Phillip Bradford, 62, was in the elephant barn at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield when the three-ton elephant, named Patience, made a sudden move and killed him.
Cora Scott, a spokeswoman for the city of Springfield, said in a statement:”Bradford and other staff were working with a 41-year-old female elephant, named Patience, when the elephant made a sudden movement, fatally injuring Bradford.”
The zoo did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Bradford’s death.
Scott added: “No disciplinary action will be taken with the animal. The animal will not be euthanized.”
ABC reports that the 62-year-old zookeeper had been working at the zoo for over 30 years. He was the manager of elephants at the Dickerson Park Zoo.
Mike Crocker, director of Dickerson Park Zoo, said: “This is very sad day for the Zoo family, as well as our community as a whole.”
The Dickerson Park Zoo has two female elephants and two male elephants. The zoo had a third female, named Connie, but the animal pased away earlier this month from kidney failure.
Bob Belote, Director of the Springfield Greene County Park Board, said: “We’re unbelievably sad right now… Our Parks family and our Dickerson Park Zoo family is very close, so a loss like this is really painful for all of us.”
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