Transcript for Elephant Kills Trainer at the Dickinson Park Zoo in Missouri
And next now, there was a tragic surprise today, a seasoned animal trainer was killed by an elephant who spent years in his care. So what happened? Here is abc's matt gutman. Reporter: They are the largest creatures walking the earth. But their size and power can only make elephants dead leave. Even to those who know them best, like john bradford, who worked with patience, the elephant, for most of her life, when she took his. The senior zoo keeper at the dickenson park zoo for 30 years had gone into the enclosure to move patience, when she made a sudden move, according to the zoo, fatally injuring bradford. Just three years ago bradford acknowledged the risk of working with elephants. The problem is, you have to take care of animals, there is inherent risks in working at a zoo, but the deal is, you know, you want to minimize risks. Reporter: Watch the surveillance video from the toledo zoo taken months later, an elephant charges a keeper injuring him. Ron magill of zoo miami says no way to be in physical contact with elephants and do it safely. Historically, elephants are responsible for more injuries and deaths in zoos than any of the other animals. Reporter: Than any of the other animals, tigers and lions. We saw firsthand how their intelligence can be dangerous. She just threw a rock. She's trying to get our attention. Reporter: A trunk full of gravel. She threw something to say you forgot about me. Reporter: Then a bigger rock. It got closer this time. Yeah and we have to leave before it gets close enough. Reporter: Matt gutman, abc news, miami.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.