I am very saddened to report the death on Friday evening of Stephanie James, the experienced Knoxville Zoo elephant keeper.
Stephanie had been working with the three (1.2.0) Knoxville African Elephants for two years. Although investigations continue it would appear that her death was a result of an accident and not aggression when she was crushed against a wall by the 26 year old female elephant called 'Edie'. Any keeper working 'hands on' with elephants will be aware how easy it is for such a situation to arise. Stephanie was rushed to University of Tennessee Medical Center where, very sadly, she died of internal injuries.
Stephanie died doing a job she loved with animals she was dedicated to. I extend my sincere condolences to her family, friends and work colleagues.