Attorneys for two chimpanzees head to court Wednesday to argue the animals ought to be granted “personhood” status and released from their Stony Brook University confines.
The Nonhuman Rights Project filed the request to release the chimps, Leo and Hercules, and grant them “personhood” status in state supreme court in Manhattan, the Associated Press reported. Currently, they’re being used in locomotion studies in the State University of New York school system.
In court papers, the chimps’ lawyers said the animals ought to be regarded as “autonomous and self-determining beings” with rights to liberty. The Nonhuman Rights Project is petitioning to have them sent to a Florida sanctuary.
SUNY’s side, as presented by the state attorney general’s office, is the case should be dismissed because it rightly belongs in Suffolk County’s court system, not New York City’s, AP reported. The university also argues previous court cases have found chimps don’t have “personhood” status and therefore, Leo and Hercules aren’t entitled to the status, either.
The chimps won’t be in court.