R.I.P. Karen and Beulah! Two Elephants The Nonhuman Rights Project Was Trying To Protect After Decades Of Exploitation Have Died

Photo by: Gigi Glendinning

It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the news that Karen and Beulah, two elephants the Nonhuman Rights Project have been seeking legal “personhood” for, have died.

Sadly, at the age of 54, Beulah passed away after collapsing multiple times at the Big E Fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts, instead of at a sanctuary where she should have been able to peacefully retire.

The Nonhuman Rights Project has been challenging the captivity of Beulah, as well as the two other Commerford-owned elephants, Karen and Minnie, for years in Connecticut courts.

“Because of businesses like the Commerford Zoo and the Big E Fair, she never had a chance to live. Under threat of a bullhook, the Commerford Zoo stole from Beulah her freedom and anything resembling a natural existence for an elephant,” The Nonhuman Rights Project said in a statement on its website. “Prior to her appearance at the Big E, Beulah had not been seen for almost a year, only to be subjected to one final round of forced labor.”

The organization expressed concern that Karen has also died while in the custody of the Commerford Zoo.

As per the Nonhuman Rights Project, Beulah, Karen, and Minnie, can be made to live and die this way because elephants are still considered “things” with no rights: a legal anachronism the organization is urging the Connecticut courts to remedy.

“Our fight to secure recognition of our elephant clients’ right to liberty and their release to a sanctuary will continue, in Beulah’s name and in the names of all the elephants before her who have found freedom only in death,” continued the Nonhuman Rights Project.

The organization is expected to announce next week further actions they are taking, including in the Connecticut courts, to secure justice for Minnie, and for Karen as well.

Donations to support the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals can be made HERE!

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