The highest court in New York has ruled that a Bronx Zoo elephant is not a legal person and cannot be considered illegally confined.
In a 5-2 decision Tuesday, the New York State Court of Appeals rejected a petition by the animal rights organization Nonhuman Rights Project, affirming lower court rulings. The organization requested a writ of habeas corpus to take Happy, a female Asian elephant brought to the Bronx Zoo in 1977, away from the zoo. The group contended that Happy was a person because elephants possess complex cognitive and emotional capabilities, and therefore as a person was illegally confined to the zoo.
“For centuries, the common law writ of habeas corpus has safeguarded the liberty rights of human beings by providing a means to secure