Elephant Refuge Founder Mourned After Being Crushed to Death
Jim Laurita was found dead in an elephant corral in Hope, Maine.
A day after Jim Laurita, co-founder of an elephant sanctuary in Maine, was accidentally crushed to death by the animals, people are mourning and remembering the onetime circus juggler with a lifelong love for elephants.
Laurita, 56, elephant manager and curator of Hope Elephants, was found unresponsive in a corral in Hope, Maine, on Tuesday morning by authorities, according to a statement from the Knox County Sheriff's Office. Laurita was routinely tending to the elephants when he fell and struck his head on a cement floor.
On Tuesday evening, several people gathered in front of the closed facility, according to Jason Kurtis, National Geographic Studio's operations producer, who was reporting a story on Hope Elephants the day before Laurita died.