Skip to comments.Zoo horror as 8,000lb elephant backs female trainer into a wall and crushes her to death
Posted on 01/16/2011 4:07:18 AM PST by markomalley
An inquiry is underway after an 8,000lb elephant at a Tennessee zoo backed a trainer into a wall and crushed her to death yesterday.
Knoxville Zoo said today that it had temporarily closed its elephant exhibit, while the rest of the zoo remained open.
But a zoo spokesman insisted the death of 33-year-old Stephanie James was nothing more than a terrible and tragic accident.
Tina Rolen, assistant director of marketing at the zoo, said: 'It's a difficult day but our staff is very professional and they are carrying on with their duties today.'
She said the review of yesterday's tragedy was continuing.
Ms James was fatally injured while performing routine chores involving Edie, a 26-year-old, 8,000lb elephant which is eight-and-a-half feet tall at the shoulder.
Edie is one of three African elephants at the zoo.
Ms Rolen said: 'At this point in time we don't believe it to be a malicious act or an aggressive act on Edie's part, but the review is ongoing to determine what happened in the barn.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I feel badly for the woman and her loved ones. She must have known the dangers of her job.
Zoo’s are interesting to visit every so often, but I always walk away feeling sorry for the animals in captivity. Not surprized that this happens on ocassion.
We have a pretty nice zoo here in San Antonio, if you’re into going to the Zoo.
Can’t blame the elephant, they weren’t made to be kept in zoos
3,2,1 until that certain pic shoes up.
Since it was an elephant, Liberals will turn this into another right-wing murder conspiracy.
They ain’t great big grey puppy dogs. African elephants are always looking to kill you.
Whenever I read these stories of animals going nuts and killing their trainers...I...I...can’t help but think that they really, really hate living in captivity.
Always carry a concealed mouse on you when working with elephants to scare them if they get uppity.
I think they hate living in captivity even if the conditions are in human opinion good. In our state, many years ago, an elephant was hanged for trampling a trainer to death. The best I remember, it was in a parade, and when it saw watermelons in a stall, it just went wild. Elephants love watermelons; and one has to wonder if it had even seen a watermelon since it was taken from its original home country.
Maybe the elephant was tired of being paid in peanuts?
Some how, the Tea Party is involved.
Animals are not people. They are not “aware” as are people. Animals are not responsible when they injure people. They are doing as animals do.
"Hanged?" As in "sent to the gallows?" As in "given a neck-tie party?"
... zoo spokesman insisted the death of 33-year-old Stephanie James was nothing more than a terrible and tragic accident - the elephant accidentally backed the female trainer into a wall and accidentally crushed her to death.
Here ya go...
How slow do you have to be to let an elephant back you into a wall and crush you?.
As with many zoos, you can tell where a long-term director started at the zoo by what is emphasized. At the time, Knoxville had so many large cats that most were kept in areas not on display to the public, and only a couple were let out into the public enclosure each day.
I remember walking down a foul-smelling underground hallway with a center drain running the length of it, lit by a couple of lightbulbs hanging by wires from the ceiling, corn crib cages on either side of me, and big cats playfully pawing out from each side, paws probably within 24" of each shoulder as I walked on the metal drain cover like a tightrope.
The mama Bengal and her cubs were in the last cage on the right.
I remember watching Silence of the Lambs years later and having the memory of my walk spring sharply to mind as I watched Clarice Starling's walk down that corridor to seek Hannibal Lecter.
Edie had an itch that needed scratching...
Edison also electrocuted one on Coney Island in 1903 and filmed it. Google "Topsy the Elephant"
Not many people have been thumped me with an elephant trunk! Is that in your resume? It should be.
YEARS ago I worked in Missouri and talked with a farmer who told me he had a mule that would wait until you got in the stall with him and then crowd you flat up against the wall. Some of these critters know EXACTLY what they are doing.
They need to interrogate the hell out of that elephant to find out why it did what it did.
That elephant can lose 50 pounds just by doing that...too bad people cannot lose that much weight just by doing that..
Yes. To the best of my recollection, it was for trampling a trainer to death, and the elephant was hoisted up on a gallows and hanged - with some sort of lifting device used in those days in sensible work. I have thought it was a pitiful, ignorant and misguided action that I’m ashamed happened in my state (Tennessee). It was in a parade and went wild when it saw, and probably smelled, watermelons piled in a stall. It was obviously not done maliciously; the elephant had probably been worked hard in the hours before the parade - helping ereck circus tents. It was probably dehydrated and thirsty. It was pitiful. I’m not a PETA person, but that hurt me. It has been many years since that happened, before I was born. - We have an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee now where elephants that have been mistreated and worked nearly to death are taken to live free on a big tract of land in Hohenwald, Tennessee for the rest of their lives.
OSHA will demand that elephants be equipped with back-up beepers.
What’s that sound? The Patriot’s backing out of the playoffs.
This is a reminder that elephants and other such creatures may be tamed, but they’re still wild animals of incredible strength. They’re entertainment, but they shouldn’t be trifled with. It’s terrible that this happened.