Animal rights activists lost a lawsuit to recognize elephants as people

A Connecticut court denied a lawsuit Tuesday from animal rights activists to grant three zoo elephants the legal rights to “bodily integrity and bodily liberty,” The Washington Post reports.

Nonhuman Rights Project attorney Steven Wise filed the suit to the Connecticut Superior Court in November. The elephants — Beulah, Karen and Minnie — belong to a traveling zoo and live in “deplorable conditions,” according to WaPo.

However, Wise did not challenge the treatment of the animals.

“Does the petitioner’s legal theory that an elephant is a legal person entitled to those same liberties extended to you and I have a possibility or probability of victory?” Judge James Bentivegna wrote. “The petitioner is unable to point to any authority which has held so, but instead relies on basic human rights of freedom and equality.”

The Nonhuman Rights Project’s case rested on the assumption that a “person” was not a human, but something “with the capacity for legal rights,” according to The Associated Press.

“[Elephants] have a sense of self, remember the past and plan for the future, engage in complex communication, show empathy, and mourn their dead,” the activist suit said.

Bentigna dismissed the case as “wholly frivolous on its face in legal terms.”

Zoo co-owner Darlene Commerford was happy with the decision, saying the elephants had been with the zoo for decades and were considered “like family,” the AP reports.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller.

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About the Author: Tim Pearce

Tim Pearce writes on energy for the Daily Caller News Foundation

4 Comments
  1. HomoAmerikanus

    if corporations can be people, so can elephants. I wish the litigants all the best in the New Year: do not give up.

    • pkwz

      Elephants aren’t governed by laws, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t have legal obligations and responsibilities, they can’t be sued, and they aren’t responsible for following (or not following) any laws of the land. They are animals.

      Why don’t these wacky animal rights activists do something constructive with their time and money? I’m sure that there are plenty of people who are struggling right now to pay their heating bills and not freeze.

      People are people and elephants aren’t.

        • pkwz

          Reading about all of the dogs that are freezing to death in this country because of the cold weather is horrible. Why don’t animal rights activists go out and RESCUE some dogs?!

          The story of the little dog that guarded her dead mistress for two weeks until being rescued was truly heartbreaking. If you asked me who I valued more, the animal rights activists or dogs, I’d have to go with dogs every time. These nuts don’t care about people OR animals.

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