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25-Year Zoo Employee Dies After Charged By An Elephant


Bradford worked at the zoo for 25 years.  Zookeepers say Patience, a 41-year-old female elephant, got aggressive with Bradford and charged.  There were other workers at the barn.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., according to a news release, Springfield Police and emergency responders were dispatched to Dickerson Park Zoo in response to the accident in the zoo’s elephant container.  Bradford and other staff were handling an elephant when the accident occurred.

Bradford, a 30-year-employee of the zoo, died as a result of his injuries.  His family, who are outside Springfield, have been notified.  No other zoo employees were injured.

"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.

Chaplains are assisting staff, and the zoo remains open to visitors.  The Springfield Police Department is investigating.

At this time, it is unknown what will happen to Patience.

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