New York, December 3: A US animal rights group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of captived chimpanzees, while claiming the existence of scientific evidence that shows the animals being "self-aware and autonomous".
The Nonhuman Rights Project has said that the animals should be recognized as "legal persons" with fundamental rights, the New York Daily reported.
The chimps in question are: Tommy - a 26-year-old chimpanzee who lives on a private property in a used trailer lot in Gloversville, New York.
Hercules and Leo - two young male chimps owned by New Iberia Research Center, and who are being used in a locomotion research experiment in the Anatomy Department at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York.
Kiko - a 26-year-old chimpanzee, formerly used in the entertainment industry and lives at a private property in Niagara Falls.
The lawsuit, which has been filed in New York Supreme Court, has demanded that the four listed chimpanzees be granted the right to "bodily liberty".
The group has asked the court to have the animals moved to the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance where they will be able to live out their lives in a more natural habitat.
The group has also planned to file additional lawsuits for other captive animals which include gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, elephants, dolphins and whales. (ANI)