The Latest: Lawyer argues that a chimp is legally a person
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on arguments in court over whether a chimpanzee should be treated as a person with legal rights (all times local):
An attorney says in court in New York that a chimpanzee should be treated as a person with legal rights.
Attorney Steven Wise argued Thursday before the state appeals court in Manhattan that two chimps named Tommy and Kiko should be freed from cages to live in an outdoor sanctuary. Kiko’s owner, Carmen Presti, says his family at an upstate Niagara Falls sanctuary isn’t letting go of the deaf chimp he and his wife rescued 23 years ago.
Wise must now wait for the five-judge panel to issue their decision. That could happen in a matter of days or weeks.
Wise represents the Nonhuman Rights Project that has filed lawsuits on behalf of the chimps in various New York courts — unsuccessfully so far.
Should a chimpanzee be treated as a person with legal rights?
That’s what attorney Steven Wise will try to persuade a New York appeals court in Manhattan on Thursday. Wise, who represents the Florida-based Nonhuman Rights Project animal advocacy group, plans to argue that two chimps named Tommy and Kiko should be freed from cages to live in an outdoor sanctuary.
Kiko’s keeper, Carmen Presti, says no way is he letting go of the deaf monkey he and his wife rescued 23 years ago from a life performing in fairs and movies. They say Kiko is a member of their family at a sanctuary in Niagara Falls.
The attorney wants the couple to give up the chimp — as a person with a right to freedom away from a cage.