Top New York Court Rules That Elephant Is Indeed Not A Person
In news that won't make you happy, Happy the Elephant out of New York City is indeed not a human.
New York's top court ruled in a 5-2 decision that Happy the Elephant at the Bronx Zoo in New York City would not be granted the rights of a human. Why was this even a question? The Nonhuman Rights Project has been fighting for more legal actions on behalf of animals, including pets, farm animals and other species in zoos. The group according to NPR fought that Happy was "illegally confined."
The decision written by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said that "while no one disputes that elephants are intelligent beings deserving of proper care and compassion," a writ of habeas corpus is intended to protect the liberty of human beings and does not apply to a nonhuman animal like Happy."
The Bronx Zoo argued Happy is neither illegally imprisoned nor a person, but a well-cared-for elephant. Happy will not be released through a habeas corpus proceeding.
Granting that right to Happy to challenge her confinement at a zoo "would have an enormous destabilizing impact on modern society," read the majority decision."
The ruling from New York's highest court cannot be appealed. The Nonhuman Rights Project has also failed in similar cases, including those involving a chimpanzee in upstate New York named Tommy.
According to the Nonhuman Project, Happy is a female Asian elephant who was born in the wild in 1971. In 2005, Happy became the first elephant to “pass” the mirror self-recognition test. She is currently at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
Here's 7 Animals You Didn't Know Were Endangered At The Utica Zoo
17 Wild & Fun Activities to Do at The Wild Park in Chittenango
Take a Virtual Trip Through the Wild Drive-Thru Safari