Legal Personhood In Tim Commerford's Three Elephants

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Tim Commerford is the owner of the Commerford Zoo, which owns the three elephants. Commerford said he was surprised by the lawsuit. The animals range in age from 33 to 50 years old. They have belonged to the zoo for at least 30 years, he said. "They 're part of our family," he said. The term "legal personhood" does not only apply to human beings. U.S. courts have decided that corporations can be legal persons. A New Zealand court has granted personhood to a river. And courts in Argentina and Colombia have recognized legal personhood for chimpanzees and a bear, too. But in New York, courts rejected personhood for chimps. The courts argued that chimps did not have the same social responsibilities as people, so they should not have legal personhood.…show more content…
He hopes the Connecticut court will see it differently. He said the laws in Connecticut may be a better fit for his team 's argument. Wise also thinks elephants might stand a better chance in court than the chimps did. "Apes are so close to us that it makes some people uncomfortable," he said. Empathetic, Self-Aware, Problem Solvers Wise pointed out that elephants have many of the same characteristics as humans. They are empathetic, self-aware and have a good long-term memory. They use calls and gestures to discuss, plan and carry out an action, and are able to solve problems. This quality is especially important, according to Wise. "They know their past, they know they 're in the present, and they can plan a future," Wise said. The zoo owner, Commerford, agreed that elephants are unusually intelligent. But he said Beulah, Minnie and Karen have plenty of space and activity at the zoo. Removing them would be like taking away a house cat that is "comfy at your house," he said. "It 's not right to rip them from my family, from their home," he said. Targeting Small, Family-Owned

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