WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An elephant at the center of a legal effort to give animals “personhood” has died.

Catherine Pappas, a spokeswoman for the Eastern States Exposition, on Wednesday confirmed the death of Beulah at age 54. Beulah had been on display at the fair.

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Andre Bell, spokesman for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, tells WWLP-TV the death was reported to the agency. The cause is unknown.

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Beulah was owned by Connecticut–based Commerford Zoo.

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The Nonhuman Rights Project had asked the courts to grant the animals the same rights as humans, saying they were mistreated and belonged in a sanctuary.

Tim Commerford and Beulah at the Big E (WBZ-TV)

The Connecticut Appellate Court last month upheld a lower court’s decision denying the elephant’s personhood. The decision has been appealed.

A spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the zoo to retire its animals.

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