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Calling for Happy’s Freedom After 44 Years of Bronx Zoo Imprisonment

By Courtney Fern

Today is the second day of our week of action in recognition of the suffering our clients have endured as a result of their imprisonment and with the hope they will soon be able to live freely and with peace and dignity.

March 21st was the 44th anniversary of Happy’s imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo. During the past 44 years—88% of her entire life—she has been imprisoned on a one-acre lot in New York City, a wholly unnatural and inappropriate environment for an elephant. The past 15 years she has been alone, without the necessary companionship of other elephants.

After almost a lifetime in captivity, Happy deserves to be freed from her imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo and sent to an elephant sanctuary.

Science and human experience make clear that elephants are autonomous animals. They are cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex beings who have the capacity to exercise free will and make choices about how to spend their days and live their lives, just as human beings do. Forcing an elephant like Happy to live alone in a small unnatural environment, where she is prevented from exercising free will and engaging in her innate behaviors, causes physical and emotional suffering.

It’s time for the Bronx Zoo to send Happy to an elephant sanctuary where she can live freely with other elephants in an environment that is similar to her natural habitat.

Actions of the day:

  • Complete this action alert to urge the Bronx Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Zoo, to release Happy to an elephant sanctuary.
  • After completing the action alert, tweet at the Bronx Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society asking that they #FreeHappy. A sample tweet is: “Happy has spent 44 years imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo in a barren 1-acre enclosure in NYC. The past 15 years she has been alone without the necessary companionship of other elephants. It’s time for the @BronxZoo and @theWCS to #FreeHappy to an elephant sanctuary.” You can also find sample tweets and graphics on this blog post. Be sure to include the hashtag #FreeHappy in your tweet.
  • Read and share this blog post on the other ways that you can help Happy.

Note: These social media action items are designed for Twitter, the social media platform that most effectively brings our action alerts to the attention of the public at large. If you do not have Twitter or prefer to advocate on another platform, you can still help by sharing this blog post and the above action alert.

Thank you!

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