The NhRP's #FreeHappy virtual event

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About the Nonhuman Rights Project

The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only  civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals. We work to achieve our mission through litigation, legislation, and education. 

To learn more about our work please visit: nonhumanrights.org

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Happy's Case

If you want to learn more about Happy’s journey, here are links to her stories and press pieces as she moves toward freedom. For Happy's full timeline, click here.

February 2020 

Bronx Supreme Court Justice Alison Y. Tuitt issued a decision in Happy’s case that is powerfully supportive of our legal arguments to free Happy from the Bronx Zoo to an elephant sanctuary. Read about it here.

October 2019
Happy had her day in court, with NhRP arguing for her release before the winter season. The next court date is slated for January 2020. 
Read more here.

August 2019 

The Nonhuman Rights Project held a second rally for Happy’s freedom. Watch Jane Unchained’s coverage of the rally here.

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A Case for Happy

Elephants are incredibly social animals who suffer greatly in captive environments that prevent them from moving about freely and engaging in their natural behaviors. As an autonomous, cognitively and emotionally complex being, Happy is entitled to have her fundamental right to liberty recognized and be released to an elephant sanctuary, which is what we are arguing for in our habeas corpus litigation on her behalf. With the support of world-renowned elephant experts, we argue that the Bronx Zoo’s imprisonment of Happy unlawfully deprives her of her ability to exercise her autonomy, including the freedom to choose where to go, what to do, and with whom to be.

Happy deserves to be freed to an elephant sanctuary, where she will be able to live out the rest of her life with other elephants in an environment similar to her natural habitat and with the freedom to choose how to spend her time and with whom.

Please take the below actions today to help free Happy to an elephant sanctuary where she can reclaim the freedom that was stolen so long ago.


Take Action for Happy

Donate today to help us reach our goal of $20,000.

The #FreeHappy virtual event was livestreamed on Wednesday, November 18th at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET.

You can watch the recording here or on our YouTube channel
Please share widely.

Scroll down or 
click here to take action.

July 2020 

The Nonhuman Rights Project filed an appellate brief. Amicus briefs were filed by two habeas corpus scholars, twelve North American philosophers and world-renowned legal scholar Laurence H. Tribe, in support of the NhRP.

November 2020
The Nonhuman Rights Project will argue for Happy's right to liberty and release to sanctuary once again, this time via virtual conference call.

September 2020
The WCS files its brief with the First Department and the NhRP files its Reply Brief.

Happy is a 49-year-old wild-born Asian elephant who was captured in Thailand and brought to the United States in the 1970s. She has been imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo for over forty years and for the past fourteen years has lived alone in a totally inappropriate environment that cannot meet her physical, behavioral, and psychological needs.

Happy made history in 2005 as the first elephant to pass the mirror self-recognition test, widely considered to be a major indicator of self-awareness.

Meet Happy

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Purchase a #FreeHappy virtual event commemorative mug or tote bag. Each item sold goes towards securing fundamentals rights for nonhuman animals.