Group calls zoo elephant unhappy

An activist group is giving poor marks to the Bronx Zoo because of what they claim is a bad situation involving one elephant.

An annual list of the 10 worst zoos for elephants in North America says the Bronx Zoo is holding an elephant in solitary confinement. "Happy" is best known for the 2005 experiment in which she recognized herself in a mirror.

In Defense of Animals, the California based animal activist group that released the list, wants the elephant transferred to a sanctuary.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo, disputes the claim, saying, "Happy does not live a 'horrific life' and is not isolated or in solitary confinement."

Jim Breheny, the society's executive vice president of zoos and Bronx Zoo director, said the accusations "have been repeated by various sources who have no direct knowledge about our elephants or our program."

According to the Breheny, "Happy does not share the same physical space with our two other elephants because they do not get along. She is in tactile and auditory contact with them." He added that Happy spends several hours a day interacting with the people who care for her.

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