WEST SPRINGFIELD (CBS/AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has determined a cause of death for the elephant at the center of a legal effort to give animals “personhood.” Beulah, who had been on display at the Big E, died in September at the age of 54.

USDA spokesman R. Andre Bell said the cause of death was septicemia, or blood poisoning, from a uterine infection.

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.

In 2018, Beulah was part of an I-Team story about the treatment of animals at Big E.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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