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The owner of a five-ton elephant that died of...

JACKSON, N.J. -- The owner of a five-ton elephant that died of pneumonia and later froze faces a hearing March 15 on charges he failed to adequately heat the barn where the animal was kept.

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed the charges in Municipal Court in Jackson Township earlier this week against William Bouthillier of Old Bridge Township.

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The elephant, named Ned, died Jan. 15 in the barn owned by James Ballentyne.

SCPA Capt. Gary Swarer, who filed the charges, said the construction of the barn and the heaters the elephant's owner installed to keep it at 65 degrees were inadequate to keep the animal warm during January's freezing temperatures.

If convicted, Bouthillier, who says he is a professional animal trainer, faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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