Bill would remove the 2 remaining elephants from the Bronx Zoo
A Brooklyn cop wants to force the Bronx Zoo to abandon the Big Apple’s last elephants.
A bill introduced last week by Democratic Councilwoman Shahana Hanif would essentially ban elephant captivity citywide by requiring the animals to have habitats of at least 15 acres – which do not exist in the city. It would also prohibit elephants from being bred, ridden, used for “educational or commercial exhibitions” or doing work.
The Bronx Zoo includes two elephants, Happy and Patty, who live separately along an acre each.
Hanif tweeted that she is “proud to present” a bill “to ultimately ban elephant capacity in New York because ‘studies have shown that elephants are emotionally complex and suffer deeply in inadequate enclosures.’
Courtney Fern of the Florida-based Nonhuman Rights Project told The City newspaper that if passed, the new bill would be the first captivity ban on elephants in the United States “and I think that’s a important step to help end the suffering of elephants”.
However, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, said the legislation is “full of general, boilerplate language regarding elephants, refers to issues that are irrelevant and does not consider our two elephants as individuals with distinct personalities,” according to 1010 WINS. -AM.
He also accused Nonhuman Rights Project, which recently mounted a legal challenge to Happy’s confinement, of working with Hanif to “advance an anti-zoo agenda.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson also tore up the bill, saying in a statement that it “unfairly targets our wildlife conservation society and its staff who have a long history and deep commitment to protect the animals in their care”.
Last year, the state Court of Appeals ruled against Nonhuman Rights Project finding that Happy the elephant is not a “person” because she filed a lawsuit seeking the release of the Bronx zoo animal.
New York Post