Two elephants living at Hope Elephants rehabilitation center in Maine will be sent back to a sanctuary in Oklahoma in the wake of the crushing death of their caretaker.
Police say veterinarian James Laurita died Tuesday in the animals' barn in Hope when one of the elephants apparently stepped on him.
Hope Elephants board says in a statement Wednesday that the center's two Asian elephants will be returned to the elephant care facility where they came from. Rosie and Opal came to Hope Elephants from Endangered Ark Foundation in Hugo, Oklahoma, in 2012 after retiring from circus work.
The board statement also says Hope Elephants will continue operations in Laurita's honor. The 56-year-old co-founded the center to care for retired circus animals.