Skip to content

Meditations on loneliness with the Bronx Zoo’s 50-year-old Elephas maximus

By Lauren Choplin

In the latest issue of New York Magazine, Molly Young reflects on our elephant client Happy’s life in an essay titled, “43 Minutes With Happy the Elephant: Meditations on loneliness with the Bronx Zoo’s 50-year-old Elephas maximus.” An excerpt:

The position of the Bronx Zoo is that, sure, Happy may be largely denied contact with other elephants, but her bonds with her human keepers are, like those Japanese companion robots or Tom Hanks’s volleyball in Cast Away, a functional substitute.

The position of the Nonhuman Rights Project is that Happy is stuck in a kind of elephant Guantánamo and every day spent there is a crime against her being.

Please read and share this powerful essay. We also encourage you to leave a supportive comment or send a letter to the editor, thanking the author and publication for telling Happy’s story.

We’re still waiting for the New York Court of Appeals to decide whether to hear Happy’s case, which we argue is novel and deeply important at the local, state, national, and international levels.

We know it’s difficult to imagine Happy’s suffering as the fight for her freedom continues in and beyond the courtroom. Thank you for your compassion for imprisoned elephants and for being with us every step of the way.

To learn more about Happy and her court case, click here. For all the ways you can help #FreeHappy right now, click here. To make a donation to help ensure the legal fight for elephant rights is as strong as it can be, now and until all elephants can live freely, click here

Sign up to receive the latest updates on our mission

Find out about opportunities to get involved, breaking news in our cases and campaigns, and more.