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Bronx Zoo elephant isn't a person, court rules

Bronx Zoo Elephant Lawsuit
Posted at 12:54 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 12:58:00-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Happy the elephant will remain at the Bronx Zoo after New York's top court ruled the animal does not meet the definition of an illegally confined person.

The 5-2 decision means Happy will not be released through a habeas corpus proceeding.

The Nonhuman Rights Project first petitioned for Happy to receive personhood status in 2018.

The group claims Happy has been living by herself and is lonely at the zoo, according to Bloomberg.

Dissenting from the majority, Judge Jenny Rivera wrote, “It is an affront to a civilized society, and every day she remains a captive — a spectacle for humans — we, too, are diminished."

The Nonhuman Rights Project says it has a similar case underway in California and more planned in other states and other countries.