July 21, 2006

Handler killed by elephant at Tennessee sanctuary

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - An elephant killed its
female handler and injured a male handler at a Tennessee
sanctuary on Friday, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
official said.

The female handler died instantly after being stepped on or
kicked by "Winkie," a 40-year-old, 7,600-pound female Asian
elephant, and a second attendant received minor injuries when
he tried to intervene, TWRA official Doug Markham said.

Both handlers were feeding the animals at the time, Markham

Winkie spent 30 years at a zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, where
she gained a reputation as a dangerous elephant after hurting
keepers and visitors. She was transferred in 2000 to The
Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, about 85 miles
southwest of Nashville, according to the sanctuary's Web site.

The 2,700-acre sanctuary, which is not open to the public,
was founded in 1995 and is home to 19 elephants.