AN 8,000 pound elephant backed an experienced zoo keeper into a wall and crushed her to death at a Tennessee zoo, horrifying her family and colleagues. The tragedy occurred Friday afternoon while Stephanie James, 33, was performing routine chores in the elephant stall at the Knoxville Zoo. Edie, a 26-year-old elephant who is just under 9-feet-tall at the shoulder, pushed her into the wall. James was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she died Friday of internal injuries, according to Tina Rolen, assistant director of marketing at the zoo. The Indianapolis native was one of four full-time elephant trainers at the zoo. At this point in time we dont believe it to be a malicious act or an aggressive act on Edies part, but the review is ongoing to determine what happened in the barn, Rolen said. Jim Vlna, Knoxville Zoo Executive Director said Everyone at Knoxville Zoo is shocked and saddened at the loss of Stephanie. Our prayers are with her parents and the rest of her family. NYDN