A zookeeper in Springfield, Mo., was killed by an elephant on Friday, according to an Oct.11 report on NBC News, John Bradford, age 62, was killed at Dickerson Park Zoo by a female elephant called Patience who had a history of aggressive behavior. Despite several co-workers assisting him, Bradford was killed in the elephant enclosure while trying to coax the elephant through a connecting chute when the 41-year-old elephant crushed him. Originally, it was reported that the elephant charged him, but it has been determined it was more of a lunge into the chute.
The elephant had been at the zoo since 1990, and John Bradford had been the elephant manager since her arrival. He had worked at the zoo for 30 years, 25 of which he was in charge of these large animals. The zoo currently has two female and two male elephants, and one female died earlier in the month.
Patience will not be euthanized for the death of her handler. A spokesperson for the city said that the elephant had been “hesitant and submissive” since the other female’s death.
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