Springfield Zoo Evaluates its Elephant Program

Posted: Dec 1, 2013 9:54 AM by The Associated Press
Updated: Dec 1, 2013 10:55 AM

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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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