The nonprofit Nonhuman Rights Project has filed a lawsuit on behalf of elephants named Beulah, Karen and Minnie at Commerford Zoo in Connecticut.

A female elephant feeds her cub in the early morning hours in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Elephants in photo are not the clients in the Nonhuman Rights lawsuit. (Photo credit ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An animal rights organization has asked a court to legally recognize the personhood rights of three elephants at a Connecticut zoo and order them released.

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The Nonhuman Rights Project announced Monday it has filed a lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court on behalf of elephants named Beulah, Karen and Minnie at Commerford Zoo, a traveling petting zoo based in Goshen.

The nonprofit wants the court to release the elephants to a natural habitat sanctuary. It has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which for people relates to whether someone is being unlawfully detained and should see a judge.

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The organization argued unsuccessfully this year for two adult male chimps to be considered legal people.

Commerford Zoo hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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