Southwest Missouri fair offering elephant rides

Monday, July 28, 2014 | 10:55 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — A southwest Missouri fair is offering elephant rides one year after a zookeeper was crushed by one of the animals nearby.

The Springfield News-Leader reports elephants from Larry Carden's farm near Springfield are giving rides at the Ozark Empire Fair for the first time.

Zookeeper John Bradford was crushed to death last year by an elephant at Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo, which stopped offering elephant rides in the late 1990s.

Former zoo director Mike Crocker says the main reason the elephant rides were stopped was liability. He says there's a certain amount of risk for staff members and fair guests that the zoo was no longer willing to accept.

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