Zookeeper in Southwest Missouri Killed by Elephant

4 years 8 months 5 days ago Friday, October 11 2013 Oct 11, 2013 Friday, October 11, 2013 6:13:00 PM CDT October 11, 2013 in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - A longtime zookeeper in southwest Missouri was killed Friday morning when he was crushed by an elephant, a spokeswoman for the city of Springfield said.

John Bradford, 62, died while moving an elephant into a chute that connects the barn stalls to the barn yard at the Dickerson Park Zoo, city spokeswoman Cora Scott said.

Scott said in a release that the elephant, a 41-year-old female named Patience who had been at the zoo since 1990, hesitated in the approximately 12-foot-long chute. When Bradford reached for her with a guide to coax her forward, she suddenly lunged forward. Bradford was knocked into the chute and crushed against the floor.

Other zookeepers quickly pulled Patience away from Bradford, but he was killed instantly, Scott said. No other zoo employees were injured.

Bradford worked at the zoo for 30 years and had been the zoo's elephant manager for 25 years.

"It's an extremely sad time for the co-workers at the zoo and at the city," Scott said.

Paul Price, a longtime friend and former co-worker of Bradford, told the Springfield News-Leader that elephants were Bradford's passion.

"He was always aware of dangers and everything and was instrumental in developing the elephant management program at the zoo at the national and international levels," he added.

The zoo has two female and two male elephants. Scott said in a news release that zookeepers had been keeping a close eye on the female elephants since the death earlier this month of the zoo's matriarch elephant, Connie. Zookeepers reported that Patience's behavior had been hesitant and submissive since then.

Zoo officials said that Patience won't be euthanized and that no disciplinary action will be taken.

The zoo opened as usual on Friday, although the elephants weren't on exhibit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums were notified of Bradford's death.

"This is very sad day for the zoo family, as well as our community as a whole," said Mike Crocker, assistant parks director and zoo director.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Missouri is the first and only state to define "meat" as exclusively animal product. The Missouri General... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 4:55:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Sunny Oaks Charity Horse Show brought about 20 riders out Sunday afternoon to compete for ribbons and... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - A Hickman High School graduate has surrounded herself with Kewpies. The dolls' trademark round eyes watch happily from... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people impacted by cancer gathered together on a track Saturday in support of cancer fighters and... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 10:11:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A podiatrist with the Jefferson City Medical Group is the first doctor in Missouri to use a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - At "Shred Fest," a local skateboarding competition, keeping participants safe was a top concern. An organization provided free... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) - President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 3:14:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A second sheriff's deputy died early Saturday from injuries suffered when an inmate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:45:00 AM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Juneteenth Heritage Festival is keeping the history of Juneteenth alive in mid-Missouri. Juneteenth is a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 4:29:00 AM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A death, a huge cache of weapons and a suspect who's gun jammed as he was aiming... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's Republican clerk and the Democrat running against him have differing opinions over voter fraud. Challenger... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:59:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s City Channel was recently recognized for creative excellence in production by The Telly Awards Judging Council. Producers... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:43:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — One Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy is dead and one is in critical condition after... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY- Investigators say the human remains they found in Miller County on Monday are from a male from the... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 4:48:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - The two caregivers responsible for Carl DeBrodie will remain in jail after Judge Kevin Crane denied their bond... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - If a few more details with the Federal Highway Administration are worked out, MoDOT plans to close the... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:33:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced on Friday five companies are expanding in Missouri with plans... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - APLEX, Inc., the contractor of the city’s Bike Boulevard Project, plans to close the entrance to Alexander... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 84°
10pm 84°
11pm 83°
12am 81°
1am 81°