Springfield Zoo Evaluates its Elephant Program

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago December 01, 2013 Dec 1, 2013 Sunday, December 01 2013 Sunday, December 01, 2013 9:54:00 AM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - A southwest Missouri zoo is evaluating its elephant program following the death of a zookeeper and nationwide changes in how the industry is caring for the animals.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that a 41-year-old female named Patience remains out of the view of visitors to the Dickerson Park Zoo more than a month after killing elephant manager John Bradford. Staff hasn't determined whether she will return to the public eye.

Zoo Director Mike Crocker says staff is examining the program and what should happen next.

Facing continued pressure from animal rights groups and increased regulations, some zoos are spending tens of millions of dollars on high-profile expansions of their elephant exhibits.

Other programs are being shuttered completely.

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