The Bronx Zoo provides safe and humane treatment of Happy, and is proud of its close adherence to federal and state animal welfare laws that protect animals in captivity, Manning said in court papers.
Moving Happy from the zoo to an animal sanctuary “would not amount to ‘release,’ but would simply change the conditions of Happy’s ‘confinement’ from one enclosed setting to another,” Manning further argued.
“The Bronx Zoo takes excellent care of Happy and will continue to do so, along with all animals here at the zoo,” said Bronx Zoo director James Breheny. “Her well-being is assured by our dedicated staff and all the expertise they bring in providing excellent care for her for more than 40 years.”
So far, no court date has been set for the State Appeals Court argument over the case.
While Manning declined to comment, one of his longtime courtroom opponents – Buffalo attorney William F. Savino – said he is not surprised that the Bronx Zoo hired Manning. He said Manning is a skilled lawyer who has handled many complex cases, including numerous class-action lawsuits.
“I’ve been battling him in the courts for more than 40 years, and I can tell you he is one of the most effective litigators I’ve ever seen,” Savino said.
According to court papers, Manning is assisted on the case by two other Phillips Lytle attorneys, Joanna J. Chen and William V. Rossi.