APNewsBreak: Owners of Maine elephant sanctuary where caretaker was killed will not be cited

Associated Press

The owners of a Maine elephant sanctuary where a caretaker died after apparently being stepped on will not be cited by federal workplace safety regulators.

In a March 4 letter to Hope Elephants, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that workers not be in the same unrestricted space as elephants except in rare circumstances. The letter was provided Friday to The Associated Press.

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Hope Elephants refuge founder James Laurita died in an enclosure in September. The death was ruled accidental.

OSHA issued a hazard alert after Laurita's death. An OSHA spokesman says the alert is a cautionary warning for all businesses that work with large animals.

Laurita's brother, co-founder Tom Laurita, says the now-closed refuge's future is uncertain. He says he has not seen OSHA's recommendation.