Edie, an African elephant who crushed a handler to death at the Knoxville Zoo, will not be punished, according to zoo officials. Officials say the 26-year-old elephant was not acting aggressively at the time of the accident and believe that handler Stephanie James' death was a tragic accident.
"Edie, the African elephant involved in the incident, will not be punished or disciplined for the incident,” Jim Vina, executive director of the Knoxville Zoo said.
The 8000 pound elephant backed into James in a stall and pushed her against metal bars. Edie reportedly responded to another handler who commanded her to move away from James, who lay crumpled on the floor. James was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later died from her injuries.