An aggressive female elephant killed a zookeeper in Springfield, Mo. Friday morning. USA Today reports Oct. 11 that John Bradford, 62, was the caretaker killed by the elephant at Dickerson Park Zoo.
City spokeswoman, Cora Scott, said Bradford was fatally attacked by the elephant when he was working in an area where the elephants were kept. The one that killed the caretaker is named Patience, a 41-year-old elephant that has been at the Dickerson Zoo since 1990. Apparently she has a history of aggressiveness.
"It's an extremely sad time for the co-workers at the zoo and at the city," Scott said.
Scott added that several employees were with Bradford at the time of the incident for safety concerns. Patience was not a trustworthy elephant and would be aggressive without notice.
Emergency responders got a call from the zoo at about 8:44 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., two ambulances and the Springfield Fire Department left the scene. Police remained at the zoo facility to further investigate why the elephant killed Bradford.
According to an August report, Dickerson Zoo had three female and two male elephants. One of the females -- Connie, also known as Pinky -- died in early October.
Although an elephant killed a zookeeper today, the zoo will remain open.