Consider the Elephant: Can the Writ of Habeas Corpus Change Society’s Approach to Animal Rights?


On June 14, 2022, the Court of Appeals for the State of New York issued an opinion addressing a metaphorical and literal “elephant in the room” in modern jurisprudence. Indeed, many news sources had a field day with the case. Readers found themselves the targets of columns bearing creative titles seeking to capture the nuance and novelty of the case’s progression over time. What could capture the attention of so many throughout the country and around the world? The answer is found in an animal rights group’s attempt to redefine the limits of personhood under the law. In the case of Happy, the zoo elephant, the animal rights group filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Habeas Corpus”) petition against the owners and operators of the Bronx Zoo. The petitioners sought appellate review for the trial court’s earlier dismissal of the case.


Animal Rights



Ridge Hughbanks



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