Happy the elephant could be the first animal to have human rights | USA TODAY

Activists are arguing that Happy the elephant, who lives in the Bronx zoo, passed self-recognition indicator tests and should have human rights.

RELATED: Blind elephant seeks acceptance from new herd

She has four limbs, expressive eyes and likes to stroll through greenery in New York City. Happy, by species, is an Asian elephant. But is she also a person? That's the question before New York's highest court Wednesday in a closely watched case over whether a basic human right can be extended to an animal.

Her advocates at the Nonhuman Rights Project say yes: Happy is an autonomous, cognitively complex elephant worthy of the right reserved in law for "a person." The Bronx Zoo, where Happy resides, says no: Through an attorney, the zoo argues Happy is neither imprisoned nor a person, but a well-cared-for elephant "respected as the magnificent creature she is."

Happy has lived at the Bronx Zoo for 45 years. The state Court of Appeals is hearing arguments over whether she should be released through a habeas corpus proceeding, which is a way for people to challenge illegal confinement.

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#Elephants #Zoos #AnimalRights


  1. Happy needs to be in a herd setting with other elephants, preferably at bigger enclosure at Bronx Zoo or established n reknown sanctuary for elephants. Maybe Bronx can expand/improve Happy’s habitat and/or take in other elephants to form a family unit for Happy.

    1. Happy would probably be hunted and killed in the wild. Nature is no joke. Let Happy stay where Happy is safe.

    2. @TheOtherMeeMee The hippos Escobar took to Columbia were safer, but does that make it right? They went to a zoo as well.

    1. @chiefperez When did I ever talk about Roe vs Wade? Yeah thought so. Get that tissue and answer the original question or shut up.

  2. She has no habitat! Alot of elephants r having a prob with climate chg with either no food or water or both. Did anyone ask Happy where she wants to li e?

  3. Wtf is an elephant gonna do with human rights????? Next video it’s gonna be in a tuxedo in court talking.

  4. Female elephants need to be with others. They are highly social. It is cruel to keep her by herself.

  5. Don’t give Happy human rights. Clearly those can be taken away on a whim. Give Happy Animal Rights. Maybe he’ll get to keep em. And … he’s an elephant. One acre is a prison. He deserves a habitat for elephants.

  6. >Takes elephant from wild where it was originally free
    >Have it kept at a zoo
    >Woke Activist: It has rights!
    Me: I agree soo let it-
    Me: *Bruh*

  7. Highly recommend The Zoo on Animal Planet, behind the scenes, mainly at the Bronx Zoo but the other 3 under their umbrella occasionally, just watched an episode on Happy and they do a pretty good job explaining everything on why they do something this way and other times that way

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