The lawyers could not bring their client to court because she was too large.
The legal team, under the direction of Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), brought an order of ‘habeas corpus’ (unlawful imprisonment) on behalf of their client, Happy the Elephant.
Happy, a 47 year old Asian elephant, had been captured as an infant, and was being held captive at the Bronx Zoo. She had been showing signs of depression since her mate, Grumpy, had passed away.
Lawyers were making the argument that Happy should be granted legal personhood. Writs of ‘habeas corpus’ generally apply to humans, but the legal team argued that Happy should be granted ‘personhood status’, which is the capacity to bear legal rights.
After a great deal of legal debate and appeals, Happy lost her case to be transferred to an animal sanctuary in December, 2020, and remains at the Bronx Zoo.
Judge Alison Tuitt stated that Congress, rather than the Bronx Supreme Court should be involved in deciding the personhood of Happy, and other non-human animals. And thus, we should not be surprised at ongoing political efforts, and lobbying, with the goal of granting personhood status to animals.
Animal Liberation activists maintain that humans and animals have equal moral worth.
We all know, however, that, pre-born human beings have no legal protection under the law.
We can be sure that God sees the sinful and bizarre developments which occur when people attempt to decide which living beings have legal rights, and which do not.
God sees. God knows. God will act, in His time.
Photo by Magda Ehlers