Co-Founder of Elephant Care Center Dies

Dr. James Laurita
Robert F. Bukaty, AP

Dr. James Laurita, a veterinarian and co-founder of Hope Elephants, which rehabilitates retired circus elephants in Maine, was killed Tuesday when one of the elephants stepped on him. "The elephant was not aggressive in any way. It was clearly an accident," said Mark Belserene, administrator for the state medical examiner's office. Laurita appeared to have fallen before he was stepped on, police said. Laurita established Hope Elephants in 2011 with his brother, Tom. Rose and Opal, the center’s two Asian elephants, arrived in 2012. "Jim's passion for all animals, but especially elephants, was boundless," the center said in a statement. — Read it from the AP via ABC News

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