|June 7, 2011 -
Knoxville Zoo has filed a formal notice of contest with the Tennessee
Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (TOSHA) contesting all alleged citations and proposed penalties related to the
January 14 incident that resulted in the fatal injury of elephant keeper Stephanie James.
"We have appealed TOSHA's citations," says Jim Vlna, executive director of Knoxville Zoo.
"We respectfully disagree with the citations, as well as the conclusions drawn in the Investigation
Summary. The zoo takes numerous precautions to protect its employees while providing the
utmost care for the animals. We look forward to a proper resolution."
Stephanie James, an elephant keeper at Knoxville Zoo, was fatally injured on January 14, 2011,
when she was pushed in the stall of the elephant barn by Edie, a 26-year-old African elephant.
Reviews of the incident conducted by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an independent review panel all concluded that
the zoo was following established safety protocols for elephant management at the time of the
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392A from Interstate 40, the zoo is
open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation,
and education. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and from 9:30
a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Nextday
admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit www.knoxvillezoo.org.