Zoos are meant to entertain people and teach them about the different species of animals that live on our planet. Zoos are meant to also preserve species of animals that are in danger of extinction in the wild, it’s a sanctuary for some of them and therefore it is expected that both animal and the humans caring for them have a mutual respect for one another. However, despite the fact that they are kept there for protection and are supposed to be treated carefully and respectfully, sometimes the animals in captivity attack for no reason at all and that is exactly what happened to John Bradford, a zookeeper at the Dickinson Park Zoo on Friday morning.
Bradford had been working at the Missouri zoo for over 30-years and was inside the elephant exhibit when one of the elephants, Patience, attacked and killed him. The death has given the rest Dickinson’s co-worked much sadness as the zookeeper was a very respected and dedicated worker, who loved his job.
The elephant that charged and ultimately killed Dickinson had a reputation for being an aggressive elephant and therefore there were other zookeepers with Dickinson when the female elephant charged him. Patience was one of two of the female elephants at the Missouri zoo, the other female, Connie, passed away in early October.
While no decision has been made about what to do with Patience just yet the zoo opened its doors despite the tragedy that very day. Zoo officials are still investigating what might have sparked the rampage.
Unfortunately this tragedy is not the first of its kind as stories surface more often than humans would like about captive animals turning on their trainers. Earlier this year tragedy struck Sea World in Orlando, Florida when one of their show killer whales turned n its trainer and killed him. It is only further proof that despite our best efforts to protect wild animals who are in danger of becoming extinct, wild animals are not meant to live in captivity, no matter how well they are treated.