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.

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.

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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