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Connecticut Court Allows Supplemental Brief in Elephant Rights Case

By Spencer Lo

Good news! The Connecticut Appellate Court has granted the NhRP permission to file a supplemental brief in our second elephant rights case on behalf of Minnie, who is now the sole surviving elephant held captive and exploited in a Goshen-based traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo.

What this means is that we will have the opportunity to address, in written form and at oral argument, the serious errors of law made by the Appellate Court in its decision on the first habeas corpus petition we filed on behalf of the Commerford elephants (Petition I). The objective is to urge the Appellate Court not to repeat those errors when it rules on our appeal of Judge Dan Shaban’s dismissal of our second case (Petition II).

Unfortunately, and with no reason given, the Appellate Court did not grant our motion for a temporary injunction to prevent the Commerford Zoo from moving Minnie out of state while her appeal is pending. We remain concerned about the likelihood of the Commerford Zoo moving Minnie to Florida or otherwise out of the jurisdiction of the Connecticut courts, which is why we will file our supplemental brief as soon as we can and keep up the public pressure on the Commerford Zoo to do the right thing and release Minnie to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee or the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary.

Learn more, including why we filed two habeas corpus petitions, here. You can help by sharing Minnie’s story and completing the actions on her grassroots advocacy campaign page. The more people who know about her plight and the Commerford Zoo’s continued refusal to release her to a sanctuary, the better.

This fight is for Minnie’s sake and in honor of Beulah and Karen.

What’s happening on other fronts in our fight for elephant rights

A reminder that tomorrow we will be in the Bronx Supreme Court for our next round of oral arguments in Happy’s case, which NhRP Executive Director Kevin Schneider discussed Friday on The Other Animals podcast.

The next day, the Massachusetts legislature will hold a hearing on a bill to prevent the use of elephants and other wild animals in circuses, and Kevin will testify before the committee in support. Prior to the hearing, there will be a rally at the “well” in front of the State House steps (on Beacon Street).

Thank you as always for supporting our clients’ right to live freely, and look out for further updates soon!

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