Happy the elephant isn’t a person, top New York court rules

Happy the elephant

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s top court has rejected an effort to free Happy the elephant from the Bronx Zoo.

The state Court of Appeals decided Tuesday that she does not meet the definition of “person” who is being illegally confined.

The 5-2 decision affirms an earlier court decision and means Happy will not be released through a habeas corpus proceeding. That is a way for people to challenge illegal confinement.

The majority decision says that “no one disputes that elephants are intelligent beings deserving of proper care and compassion.”

But it says habeas corpus is intended to protect the liberty of human beings and does not apply to a nonhuman animal like Happy.


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