An association for the protection of animals had requested the transfer of the animal to a sanctuary dedicated to its species by advancing a strong argument…
The association animal rights nonhuman rights Group was ready to do anything to free Happy, an Asian elephant who has lived in the Bronx Zoo in New York for 45 years.
The members of the association wishing to transfer her to an elephant sanctuary have therefore pleaded with the courts for her “illegal detention”.
The argument advanced for this illegal detention to be effective required that the elephant Happy be “recognized as a legal person with the right to freedom” in view of his “extraordinary autonomy and its cognitive complexity”as reported by the New York Times.
Intelligence is not enough to enjoy human rights
But the New York Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday, June 14: Happy cannot be legally recognized as a person, so she cannot benefit from human rights.
BOGUS—Happy the Bronx Zoo elephant has been denied personhood by New York State’s highest court. https://t.co/tvoRb8H5OT
Retired IRS criminal Martin Sheil says Happy’s legal reps should appeal to the US Supreme court who have ruled corporations are persons.
—Heidi Cuda (@Heidi_Cuda) June 16, 2022
The Court justified its decision by explaining that “elephants are intelligent beings that deserve adequate care and compassion, but the right does not apply to Happy, a non-human animal who is not a “person” subject to unlawful confinement.”
However, two of the seven judges did not validate this decision, considering that the court had a duty “to recognize Happy’s right to seek her freedom not just because she is a wild animal not meant to be caged and put on display, but because the rights we will give to others defines who we are as a company”.
The elephant will therefore remain at the Bronx Zoo. But for the association, the two dissenting voices bring hope for the future…