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The Latest: Appeal planned in elephant rights case

August 16, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on an animal rights group’s attempts to free three elephants from a Connecticut petting zoo (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

An animal rights group trying to free three elephants from a Connecticut petting zoo is taking its case to the state’s highest court.

The Nonhuman Rights Project says it will appeal a Friday decision by the Connecticut Appellate Court, which ruled the group does not have standing to file legal actions on behalf of the elephants.

The group argues the elephants have “personhood” rights that entitle them to freedom of liberty.

The organization alleges elephants Beulah, Minnie and Karen are being detained illegally in poor conditions at the Goshen-based Commerford Zoo and wants them moved to a natural habitat sanctuary.

Representatives of the zoo have denied the allegations and have said the elephants are like family members to them.

The Nonhuman Rights Project plans an appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

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12:10 p.m.

A Connecticut court has rejected the appeal of an animal rights group that has been trying to free three elephants from a petting zoo based on the argument that animals should have the same rights as humans.

A three-judge panel of the state Appellate Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that rejected the group’s request.

The Nonhuman Rights Group alleged elephants Beulah, Minnie and Karen were being detained illegally in “deplorable” conditions at the Goshen-based Commerford Zoo and wanted them moved to a natural habitat sanctuary.

A spokeswoman for the group says members are reviewing the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.

The Commerford Zoo has not responded to messages seeking comment and did not file briefs in the case.

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