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Captive Elephant Management: Interview with Knoxville Zoo’s Curator of Elephants

2013-04-23 - Knoxville, United States.

Whether an organization permits free or protected contact training of elephants, operant conditioning through positive reinforcement can still serve as the basis for behavioral training. I asked my colleague, Jim Naelitz, the Curator of Elephants at the Knoxville Zoo to weigh in on the topic and answer some questions.


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job

Knoxville Zoo: elephant keeper

2012-11-13 - Knoxville, United States.

Knoxville Zoo 1.2 currently houses African elephants and we are looking for an Elephant Keeper with 2+ years of experience. This person is responsible for a wide variety of tasks involving the husbandry of several area species, the daily upkeep of keeper and public areas and interpretation with zoo guests. The individual must be able to carry out the duties typical of a keeper and comply with Knoxville Zoo policies and procedures as they appear in the employee handbook and departmental protocols...


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zoo

Zoo fighting fines related to elephant keeper"s death

2011-06-07 - Knoxville, United States.

The Knoxville Zoo is fighting the citations and fines imposed upon them by the Tennesssee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) after the death of a worker. In January, elephant keeper Stephanie James was killed when an elephant named Edie pushed her into a steel beam.


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Stephanie James

Knoxville Zoo facing fines related to elephant keeper Stephanie James death

2011-06-07 - Knoxville, United States.

The Knoxville Zoo has been fined more than $12,000 dollars after an inspection by TOSHA following the death of an elephant trainer. Stephanie James was killed in January when Edie, an 8500 pound African elephant, pushed her into a stall. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) inspected the zoo after the incident, and their findings were released to 10News on Monday.


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zoo

Zoo panel rules death of elephant keeper accidental

2011-03-25 - Knoxville, United States.

The Jan. 14 death of Stephanie James, the Knoxville Zoo keeper who died after being pushed by female elephant Edie, was accidental, a review panel has found. The zoo also announced Thursday that Edie and its other female elephant, Jana, will be permanently cared for by keepers in what´s called ´protected contact.´ That means keepers will work with the pachyderms with bars or barriers between them.


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conflict
Edie, an African elephant at the Knoxville Zoo, eats a frasier fir on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. Elephant keeper Stephanie James was killed after she was struck by the elephant on January 14, 2011.

Report: Elephant’s fatal attack on Knoxville Zoo handler was ‘intentional’

2011-02-15 - Knoxville, United States.

The elephant that killed its handler at the Knoxville Zoo last month apparently committed an “intentional” attack without provocation, according to a state report released today. Zoo officials say that’s a conclusion without any proof. “Intentional is a word that I don’t know how you can say,” said Jim Vlna, the zoo’s director. “They don’t know the mind of an elephant.”


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conflict
Elephant curator Jim Naelitz (left), his brother Todd Naelitz and keeper Stephanie James allow Avery Burgess, daughter of News Sentinel photographer Amy Smotherman Burgess, to pet Edie, an African elephant at the Knoxville Zoo. James died from injuries i

Knoxville Zoo worker Stephanie James dies after elephant pushes her into stall

2011-01-16 - Knoxville, United States.

Stephanie James loved animals - whether it was the horses she used to take care of as a child, her dog she rescued from being euthanized or the elephants that she cared for daily at the Knoxville Zoo. "That was her life," her father, Ron James, said by telephone Friday evening. "It was just her goal in life to take care of animals and be around them."


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misc
Elephant keeper Stephanie James gives donated Christmas trees to Jana and Edie, female African elephants at the Knoxville Zoo on Jan. 7, 2011. James died Friday evening as a result of internal injuries incurred when one of the animals she was working wit

Elephant in fatal accident will not be punished

2011-01-15 - Knoxville, United States. Amy McRary

The Knoxville Zoo African elephant that fatally injured one of her keepers will not be punished as multiple agencies begin to investigate what zoo officials call a tragic accident. Elephant keeper Stephanie Elaine James, 33, died from internal injuries she suffered Friday afternoon when a zoo elephant named Edie pushed her into the heavy metal bars of a stall inside the pachyderms’ barn.


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job

ELEPHANT KEEPER

2009-08-14 - Knoxville, United States.

The Knoxville Zoo is seeking a qualified person to fill an opening in the elephant department. The Knoxville Zoo currently houses 1.2 African Elephants. The females are managed in free contact and the male is managed in protected contact. We need a dependable, trustworthy, and very team oriented individual who will be able to work in a fast paced, progressive program. Elephant experience not required but it is preferred.


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blog

The elephant trainer

2008-10-09 - Knoxville, United States. The Clausens

We recently visited the Shriner Circus where you were given the opportunity to ride an elephant. I graciously volunteered Mitch to take Tanner for a ride. As you can see from the photos, the elephant trainer was much to worried about his phone call than the 2 ton animal carrying small children! It was a highlight for Tanner, my little animal fanatic.


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people
Thomas Huskey

Zoo Man in court seeking break on rape conviction

2008-10-09 - Knoxville, United States. Jamie Satterfield

Thomas D. "Zoo Man" Huskey appeared in Criminal Court for a new sentencing hearing that Judge Richard Baumgartner said was necessary because of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision rendering Tennessee's sentencing law as unconstitutional. What is at issue is a 22-year sentence Huskey received for the rape and kidnapping of a prostitute at the Knoxville Zoo, where he worked as an elephant keeper. That rape occurred before the bodies of four women were found in 1992 that Huskey admitted killing. He ...


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job

KNOXVILLE ZOO: ELEPHANT KEEPER

2008-08-06 - Knoxville, United States.

The Knoxville Zoo is seeking a qualified person to fill an opening in the elephant department. The Knoxville Zoo currently houses 1.2 African Elephants. The females are managed in free contact and the male is managed in protected contact. We need a dependable, trustworthy, and very team oriented individual who will be able to work in a fast paced, progressive program. Elephant experience not required but it is preferred. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, a college degree in a rela...


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event

UT players take on zoo elephants in game of football

2008-08-01 - Knoxville, United States. LaSaundra Brown

A little pre-game pep talk still may not ease the nerves of the big orange players, who are getting ready to play one of their toughest games ever. "I've never been around somebody who was bigger than me," offensive tackle William Brimfield says. He's referring to elephants Edie and Jana, who together weigh more than 17,000 pounds. "They make an awesome offensive line," Knoxville Zoo Elephant Curator Jim Naelitz says. The elephants have been preparing for their match up against the star Vol play...


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misc
Edie, an elephant at the Knoxville Zoo, has no trouble conquering a group Tuesday in a game of tug-of-war. Pulling from left are Ben Pounds, Nancy Berger, News Sentinel writer Amy McRary, Emily Bolling, Teresa Collins and Matt Shaughnessy.

Exercise means tons of ele-fun. All types of activity help zoo pachyderms mentally, physically

2008-06-19 - Knoxville, United States. Amy McRary

Battle lines were drawn Tuesday in the hard-packed red clay of the Knoxville Zoo elephant yard. The pachyderm Edie was challenged to tug-of-war by eight determined if unrealistic humans. Five zoo marketing staff workers, two elephant keepers and one News Sentinel reporter grabbed a 15-foot rope and planted tennis shoes or work boots in the dirt. Edie waited feet away. All 8,700 pounds of her. Edie's back was turned to her competition. She wore a harness fastened to a yoke to which keepers hooked...


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misc
Sara Pool of Knoxville, pictured with an Asian elephant, spent part of December and January in Thailand at Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, caring for elephants and learning about conservation.

Look out, Dr. Dolittle. U of I student finds her calling at ‘elephant camp’

2008-01-27 - Knoxville, United States. JANE CARLSON

After spending three weeks in Thailand caring for elephants, Sara Pool isn’t used to sleeping without the sounds of the jungle. It’s the strangest thing to be back here and not hearing random elephant trumpets at night. I really loved it over there and I miss it every single day,” said Pool, a Knoxville native and budding animal rights activist who is studying animal science at the University of Illinois.


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fossil
Dr. Steven Wallace (foreground), Neal Sanders and Louis Kinnick in the dig area where the shovel-tusked elephant was discovered in the early days of the Gray Fossil Site. More bone fragments were found earlier this week.

More elephant remains found at Gray Fossil Site

2007-09-27 - Knoxville, United States. Sam Watson

More shovel-tusked elephant remains have surfaced at the Gray Fossil Site seven years after scientists first identified portions of the fossilized behemoth in the early days of the sites discovery. Having searched in vain in previous digs, East Tennessee State University researchers struck gold this week after getting a better idea of where an elephant pelvis and other fragments were found from some of the original investigators.


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job

KNOXVILLE ZOO: KEEPER II-ELEPHANTS

2007-06-11 - Knoxville, United States.

MUST HAVE PREVIOUS ELEPHANT HANDLER/KEEPER EXPERIENCE. This is a Zoo Keeper II position. It differs from the next lower level of Zoo Keeper (Keeper I) in that the lower level does not have the responsibility of training staff, team leading as requested, or serving on Zoo committees. A Zoo Keeper II is also demonstrating increasing knowledge and experience in the area species and related programs. It differs from the next higher level of Zoo Keeper in that a Keeper III has developed considerable ...


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people
Thomas Dee Huskey, in court

Four murder counts dropped against Zoo Man suspect Thomas Dee Huskey

2006-11-03 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States.

Four murder charges were formally dropped in Knoxville against an accused serial killer known as the "Zoo Man." Thomas Dee Huskey is a former elephant trainer who got his nickname from prostitutes who said he took them to the Knoxville Zoo to have sex. He remains in jail serving a 66-year prison term for raping four other women in woods near the Knoxville Zoo in 1992.


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job

Elephant keeper, Knoxville Zoological Gardens

2006-05-28 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. EAZA

The Knoxville Zoo is looking for an experienced, motivated, team oriented individual who wants to work elephants. We work both free and protected contact with 1.3 African Elephants. The program is early in its building phase with the ultimate goal of breeding within the next year. There are promotional opportunities available within the elephant team.


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accident

Two Knoxville Zoo workers hurt when elephant breaks loose

2001-08-24 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. AP

Two Knoxville Zoo handlers were injured Thursday when Mamie, the zoo's painting African elephant, broke loose during a morning walk.Keepers Tom Troy and Mike Gaugler were taking Mamie on a daily get-acquainted stroll to a new exhibit space when she decided to make a run for some tasty tree leaves, zoo executive director Jim Vlna said. Troy had a cut on his head and Gaugler injured a rib.Both were treated at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, while Mamie went back to her pen and calmed d...


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3 Headlines about Elephants from Knoxville, Tennessee2006-11-03 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States - Four murder counts dropped against Zoo Man suspect Thomas Dee Huskey 2006-05-28 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States - Elephant keeper, Knoxville Zoological Gardens 2001-08-24 - Knoxville, Tennessee, United States - Two Knoxville Zoo workers hurt when elephant breaks loose

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