Are Elephants People? New York High Court to Decide
Is this elephant legally considered a person? One nonprofit animal rights organization is saying yes, and now they hope to help free an elephant from New York's most famous zoo.
The New York Court of Appeals will decide if the pachyderm will be moved to a far more spacious sanctuary per the group's request. This could potentially open a huge door for even more legislature concerning basic human rights being extended to animals. This could also include your own pets.
Non-Profit Group Fights Free Elephant
ABC says that the Nonhuman Rights Project hopes to move Happy the elephant out of what they refer to as a "one-acre prison" at the Bronx Zoo. The NRP's argument is that Happy became the first elephant to ever pass a self-awareness indicator test back in 2005. ABC says that Happy was able to repeatedly touch a white "x" on her forehead with her trunk.
Happy was born in Asia in the early 1970s and was later moved to the Bronx Zoo in 1977. Representatives for the zoo say that Happy lives in a large area at the facility that provides all the needs for her species to live a long and healthy life. The zoo accused the NRP of "blatant exploitation" of the elephant in an attempt to advance their "coordinated agenda".
However, attorneys for the NRP say that no matter how well Happy appears to be treated she deserves the right "bodily liberty" under habeas corpus. If they can prove to the court that she is, in fact, a person, then they say that she must be freed.
Same Group Fought for Chimp Who May Have Ties to the HV
ABC says that NRP has attempted to prove that animals are humans in the state's lower courts, but did not prevail. One case includes a chimpanzee named Tommy, who some sources say was born in Amenia in the 1980s. According to their website, Tommy was found in a used trailer lot in Gloversville in the 00s.