October 11, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Dickerson Park Zoo, City of Springfield release joint statement regarding industrial accident that that took life of zookeeper

At approximately 8:45 a.m., Springfield Police and emergency responders were dispatched to Dickerson Park Zoo in response to an accident that occurred in the zoo's elephant container. Senior zookeeper and elephant manager John Phillip Bradford, 62, 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 located outside of 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 / zoo director.

Chaplains are assisting staff, and the zoo remains open to visitors.


Melinda Arnold, FOZ Public Relations/Marketing Director, Dickerson Park Zoo, 417-833-1570, marnold@dickersonparkzoo.org

Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov

Dickerson Park Zoo
3043 North Fort • Springfield, MO 65803
(417) 833-1570 Phone • (417) 833-4459 Fax
Dickerson Park Zoo is a division of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board