Yashar Ali 🐘 @yashar New York Magazine/HuffPost Contributor Email: [email protected] Direct Messages Open Text/Call/Signal/Confide/WhatsApp: 310-795-2497. Agents: UTA Jun. 06, 2019 6 min read

1. Elephants are just like us. They celebrate births & mourn deaths. And they grow depressed when they're isolated. They require a companion or herd in order to be happy

Meet Happy the 🐘

Happy is 48 & she lives at the @BronxZoo

For the past 13 years, Happy has lived all alone

2. There are two accredited sanctuaries in the US that are willing to accept Happy which would give her the opportunity to roam on a large plot of land and be surrounded by other elephants pals. But the @BronxZoo and it's director @JimBreheny are unwilling to give her up.

3. The @BronxZoo and @JimBreheny are holding onto Happy for two reasons: money (elephants are a proven revenue generator) and if they admit that Happy would be happier in a sanctuary they know if they give in, they may be forced to send other animals to sanctuaries.

4. Happy was captured in Thailand in the early 70s along with six other elephant calves. She and her companion Grumpy ended up at the @BronxZoo where they kept each other company for 25 years. In 2002, Grumpy was euthanized.

5. By 2006, Happy was alone. And she has been alone since then. For years, animal advocates have begged, protested, & organized in an effort to push the zoo to release Happy to a sanctuary but they have refused.

6. In the wild, female elephants grew up and live in matriarchal herds. They're raised by their siblings, aunts, and cousins and they live with them for the rest of their lives. When elephants are isolated they grow depressed...just like human beings. It's cruel to isolate them

7. So what is Happy's life like? She is kept alone in an indoor elephant stable unless she's on display (alone), for visitors to the @BronxZoo to view when they're on the monorail.

Here is a video taken of Happy in her exhibit...there is no reason for her to live like this.

8. It gets worse, from November through April, Happy is kept indoors due to the weather. In the wild, she would walk up to 20 miles a day with her herd. Instead, she's kept alone in a stable in the @BronxZoo. There's no reason for this to continue. Happy needs your help.

9. Happy is a gal who loves to make history. Over a decade ago, Happy was the first elephant in the world to pass a mirror self-recognition test. It's something only humans, gorillas, and dolphins had achieved until that point.

10. The other way she's made history is she is the first elephant in America (and perhaps the world) to have a court appointed lawyer representing her interests. As a result of the work of @NonhumanRights which is representing Happy.

11. It's wild that the @BronxZoo and the org that controls it @TheWCS have gone to these lengths to keep an elephant locked up. You would think they would have better things to do with donor money. All of these legal maneuvers started last year and Happy is still locked up.

12. The Wildlife Conservation Society is the organization that controls all the zoos and aquariums in the city. The board of trustees is packed with lots of wealthy and powerful folks. Here is the list. But that's not what I want you to focus on.

13. If you're as outraged as I am, you need to know the staff of these orgs and the elected officials who could get Happy released to a sanctuary virtually overnight.

First, the President and CEO of the @TheWCS is @CristianSamper

The head of the @BronxZoo is @JimBreheny

14. NYC Elected officials who can make a difference

Mayor @BilldeBlasio
NY City Council President @CoreyinNYC
Bronx Borough President @rubendiazjr
NY City Comptroller Scott Stringer @NYCComptroller
Commissioner Parks & Rec @mitchell_silver
Bronx City Council @RitchieTorres

15. While they don't have direct authority over the @BronxZoo here are federal elected officials who have lots of influence and can have an impact.

Senators @SenSchumer and @SenGillibrand
Bronx Reps: @RepJoseSerrano and @AOC

And let's not forget Governor @NYGovCuomo

16. I want to be clear that I recognize there are many pressing issues in the city, state, and federal government. But we must have respect for animals and this is a very easy task to accomplish. With your help, we can get Happy out very quickly and into retirement.

17. No elephant should live in isolation and it's unconscionable that the @BronxZoo and @TheWCS have allowed to let this drag on.

Happy needs your help, I hope you will share this thread far and wide and join me and @NonhumanRights in getting her released.

#FreeHappy

18. "When one elephant dies, the others mourn — researchers have observed a whole herd gather around a dead comrade, touching her with their trunks, and brushing soil and placing branches over her body."

A rare video of elephants mourning....

19. Thank you @ella_wills for covering our push to get Happy the elephant released to a sanctuary.

 https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/campaign-mounts-in-us-to-rehome-bronx-zoos-elephant-happy-who-has-lived-alone-in-its-enclosure-for-a4160716.html 

20. A lie @BronxZoo/@TheWCS officials keep spreading is that Happy the is Happy. And they say it would be traumatizing for her to be moved to a sanctuary. They say this while knowing that Happy has lived on 1 acre for 40 years. And is locked inside from November through April

21. 🚨🚨🚨🚨

Please call NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson's office and let him know that you believe that Happy the Elephant deserves to be released from the @BronxZoo and sent to a sanctuary.

212-564-7757
212-788-7210

Please reply and let me know you called

@CoreyinNYC

22. @NYCSpeakerCoJo @CoreyinNYC's office is telling people to call Council Member @RitchieTorres's office (where the Bronx Zoo is) which is also a thing you should do.

But the reason that's ridiculous is Corey is an Ex-officio member of the @TheWCS

I wasn't born yesterday

23. The office of NY City Councilman @RitchieTorres is misinforming constituents.

Of course this matter is in the courts, but if the @BronxZoo/@TheWCS agreed to release Happy the elephant to a sanctuary, the lawsuit would be withdrawn.

cc: @CoreyinNYC

24. Congresswoman @AOC I appreciate you being the first elected official to respond to the call to release Happy The Elephant to an accredited sanctuary.

cc: @NonhumanRights @KristinDavis

25. Exactly!

That's why we need you to call the offices of Speaker @CoreyinNYC & Councilman @RitchieTorres

Demand they take a public position on the release of Happy the elephant to a sanctuary.

212-564-7757
212-788-7210
718-842-8100
212-788-6966

26. 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨

Please call now. Do not allow either office to tell you they don't have jurisdiction or that's in the courts. Both have official and unofficial authority.

Demand they take a public position on the release of Happy the elephant

27. 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨

Please call the office of Bronx Borough President @rubendiazjr and demand he take a PUBLIC position on the release of Happy to an accredited sanctuary.

Don't let them tell you he has no authority - he is an ex-officio trustee.

(718) 590-3557
(718) 590-3500

28. @NYDailyNews covers Congresswoman @AOC's reaction to our campaign to get Happy The Elephant freed from the Bronx Zoo and sent to an accredited sanctuary.

 https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-aoc-bronx-zoo-happy-elephant-20190606-e7yliel3bfduhhuopppfexceim-story.html 

29. TWELVE days after I first tweeted about Happy the Elephant, I've only heard from two elected officials: @AOC and New York City Council Speaker @CoreyinNYC (a noted animal lover).

The other elected officials with the power to help Happy have remained silent.

Shame on them

30. SILENCE from these elected officials

@BilldeBlasio
@SenSchumer
@SenGillibrand
@RepJoseSerrano
@NYGovCuomo
Bronx Borough President @rubendiazjr
NY City Comptroller Scott Stringer @NYCComptroller
Commissioner Parks & Rec @mitchell_silver
City Council @RitchieTorres

31. HUGE NEWS!!!

NY City Council Speaker @CoreyinNYC is calling for the Bronx Zoo to release Happy the Elephant to a sanctuary!

The Speaker is the first elected official to make a public statement calling for Happy's release!

We've been waiting years for this moment!


You can follow @yashar.



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