This week marks the 16th year Happy the elephant has been held alone during the 45 years she has been imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo. She is confined to a barren enclosure with a one-acre yard in New York City, a wholly unnatural and inappropriate environment for an elephant. For the past 16 years, ever since her last companion Sammi died in 2006, she has been 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.
While we wait for the New York Court of Appeals to schedule arguments in Happy’s historic elephant rights case, you can take action to help free her now.
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 now spent the past 16 years alone without the necessary companionship of other elephants during her 45 years of imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo in a barren 1-acre lot. 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.
- Share Happy’s campaign website on social media to amplify the fight for her freedom. The website has links to easily share on Twitter and Facebook. The photo gallery hotspots all have shareable links so you can raise awareness about various aspects of Happy’s story and the fight for nonhuman animal rights.
- Read and share this blog post on the other ways that you can help Happy.
Note: Most of 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.