CT judge denies legal request to grant elephants ‘personhood’

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HARTFORD — A petition by an animal rights group to grant three elephants at a Goshen zoo personhood has been denied by a state judge who called the request “wholly frivolous.”

The Nonhuman Rights Project filed suit in November on behalf of elephants at Commerford Zoo, a traveling petting zoo based in Goshen. The group wanted the elephants released to a natural habitat sanctuary.

The group said elephants “have a sense of self, remember the past and plan for the future, engage in complex communication, show empathy, and mourn their dead.”

The judge’s decision Tuesday was based on the fact that the group didn’t have standing to bring the petition and there was no precedent.

The Nonhuman Rights Project said it’s reviewing the decision.

The zoo said it properly cares for its animals.