Elephant Rescue Founder Crushed to Death by Elephant

The co-founder of a a circus elephant rehabilitation facility in Hope, Maine has died after apparently being accidentally crushed by an elephant. Veterinarian Dr. Jim Laurita, 56, was found dead in the barn of Hope Elephants on Tuesday morning, the Portland Press Herald reports. Police first believed he had fallen and hit his head on a cement floor, but an afternoon autopsy determined that the cause of death was asphyxiation and fractures from chest compressions.


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