Zookeeper in southwest Missouri killed by elephant

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A longtime zookeeper in southwest Missouri has been killed by an elephant.

City spokeswoman Cora Scott says 62-year-old John Bradford died Friday after an elephant at the Dickerson Park Zoo made a sudden movement and hit him. No other zoo employees were injured.

Scott initially said the elephant charged Bradford, based on early reports from the scene. But she later changed that account based on new information.

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

The elephant, a 41-year-old female named Patience, had been at the zoo since 1990. Zoo officials said Patience won't be euthanized. The zoo opened as usual on Friday, although the elephants weren't on exhibit.

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