Protesters demand release of lonely ‘Happy’ the elephant at NY Zoo

On Saturday, about 100 protesters rallied around “Happy” the elephant’s enclosure at the Bronx Zoo and demanded she be released to an animal sanctuary after living in isolation for the last 13 years. The group chanted  phrases:

 “Happy is not happy!”

“No excuse for animal abuse!”

Nonhuman Rights Project sued the zoo last year after discovering Happy lived in isolation separated from the other two female elephants Peggy and Maxine. In 2002, Happy’s  companion Grumpy died – Happy has been alone ever since, even though Happy never shared space with the other pachyderms.

According to the New York Post, Kevin Schneider, head of the Nonhuman Rights Project, it is wrong to treat a “complex being as a thing.”

The zoo stated it is trying to help Happy with making friends. Last year, Maxine had to be euthanized and officials and staff had been introducing Maxine’s previous companion, Peggy. Unfortunately, after a week, both elephants were stressing. In the meantime, veterinarians and staff interact with Happy several times a day which the zoo claims makes her happy and keeps her animated.

As the population of elephants decrease, zoos have been open to more criticism from animal advocates, who say the animals belong in sanctuaries and are not here for our entertainment.

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