Free the elephants! Court case demands legal rights for pachyderms

July 11, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Colorado Springs rests in the afternoon shadow of Pikes Peak and is a typical American city, with commuters packing interstate highways, sprawling subdivisions, tightly packed office complexes, and a reasonable amount of military, industry, and tourism presence.

But its resident Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is violating the rights of five elephants to "travel, forage, communicate, socialize, plan, live, choose, and thrive as elephants should."

That's according to a new court case documented by Law Week Colorado.

The report explains the habeas corpus case has been launched by the Nonhuman Rights Project, which seeks freedom for Jambo, Kimba, LouLou, Lucky, and Missy, the five resident pachyderms at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Recently, 4th Judicial District Judge Eric Bentley ordered the group to serve the zoo and allow it to respond.

Habeas corpus is a routine legal procedure demanding the freedom of a prisoner.

The organization is arguing in Colorado, already a compound of extreme leftism on many issues, that a court should determine if the "imprisonment" of the elephants is illegal.

"The lawsuit argues courts across the country and in Colorado have generally held parties can file habeas corpus petitions on behalf of someone else and argues that should apply to non-humans as well," Law Week Colorado explains.

As evidence, the NRP cites studies and statements claiming elephants are "autonomous and extraordinarily cognitively complex beings."

And it charges captivity inflicts brain damage, physical and emotional harm.

The case does not accuse Cheyenne Mountain Zoo of violating any laws but claims the elephants need freedom.

NRP officials who went to the zoo said they saw "signs of brain damage and emotional distress."

The report explains this case is just another in a long list of similar legal fights that have been trying to "extend common law rights to … animals."

Other cases have been brought in Connecticut, California, and New York.

The report said, "The group argues it isn’t equating humans with elephants or other animals but argues protections against unjust captivity and bodily liberty in habeas corpus relief shouldn’t be extended only to humans but also to animals that are autonomous and cognitively complex, like elephants."

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