"Happy" The Bronx Zoo's Forgotten Elephant
Does the Bronx Zoo have the right to keep an intelligent, herd-oriented animal like Happy the Elephant in confinement?
The public truly does not know the condition of Happy today but by all accounts from the reporting done in 2014. Happy spends the majority of her time indoors in solitary confinement in a tiny, unnatural exhibit with no regular access to a larger outdoor exhibit and is forced to endure frigid New York winters- deprived of the social bonds which are critical to elephant welfare. As zoo officials themselves have admitted- it would be inhumane to sustain an exhibit with a single elephant.
It is as if The Bronx zoo is New York City's Guantanamo Bay and now Mayor Deblasio is its warden. New York City praises itself as being one of the greatest cities in the world and it's shameful that for the past few years the, "In Defense of Animals" (IDA), an international animal protection organization has ranked The Bronx Zoo as one of it's top five worst zoo's in the United States and Happy was pointed out as being one of the main reasons for such a poor rating.
Happy became famous in 2006 by passing the self-awareness test. Essentially, Happy looked into a mirror so she was able to see herself. Once she’s become used to the reflection in the mirror, the researchers put a white X on her forehead.
When Happy saw the X in the mirror, she started touching and exploring the mark, this meant she understood that the elephant in the mirror was herself, which means that she has a relatively advanced level of self-awareness. (We humans can’t recognize ourselves in a mirror until we’re 18 to 24 months old.)
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