In an attempt to free Happy from her solitary confinement at the Bronx Zoo, activists submitted a petition requesting that the zoo acknowledge Happy as a human.
The highest court in the state of New York has concluded that Happy the Elephant does not qualify as a legal person, and as a result, he does not have the right to basic human rights recognized in other countries.
On Tuesday morning, an appellate court upheld a lower court’s judgment that Happy the elephant, an elephant at the Bronx Zoo, is not a legal person. As a consequence, the legality of her confinement in captivity was confirmed as being by state law.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York Supreme Court wrote the ruling. The panel’s judges, Michael Garcia, Madeline Singas, Anthony Cannataro, and Shirley Troutman, unanimously agreed with DiFiore. There was not a single vote in opposition. Judges Rowan Wilson and Jenny Rivera, on the other hand, each offered dissenting opinions in which they partially agreed with each other’s reasoning.
The court stated in its decision that the writ of habeas corpus has been used for centuries to preserve persons’ liberty rights when they have been unfairly detained. We are evaluating whether the Nonhuman Rights Project is allowed to seek habeas corpus relief on behalf of Happy, an elephant who is now staying at the Bronx Zoo. The purpose of this move is to hasten Happy’s evacuation to an elephant sanctuary.