Feel Good Sunday: Judge Declares Chimp Has Rights And Must Be Freed From Zoo

Story By Stephen Messenger as published on The Dodo

“In this current climate of chaos and lack of moral fortitude it is extremely difficult to stay centered, on point and positive about anything, it seems.  Election fatigue and fear for the future of this once great country is beset upon all of us and simply laughing at a story about goofy equine antics just might not be enough to snap us out of this funk on Feel Good Sunday, today.  So with that being said, we are going to give you something with a little bit of substance to it, something that you can wrap your heart around and perhaps give you a little bit of hope during this most bizarre and unprecedented time.

This story, below, may not have an equine as the principle actor but it most assuredly speaks to the fact that wild animals (including wild horses and burros) are not ‘things’ that can be used and abused at the twisted and perverted discretion of humans (BLM).  The reality of animals having the right to live wild and free in their native environments speaks to the very core of what Americans live and die for…freedom.  The time for us to practice what we preach is perhaps lone overdue; let’s make a difference.” ~ R.T.


Proyecto Gran Simio

Proyecto Gran Simio

Cecilia the chimpanzee has spent years living alone in a concrete enclosure at a zoo in Argentina — but that’s all set to change.

In an historic ruling this week, Argentine Judge María Alejandra Mauricio declared that Cecilia isn’t a thing, but rather a being who is “subject to nonhuman rights.”

She ordered that Cecilia be released from her barren home at the infamous Mendoza Zoo and sent to live among her own kind at a sanctuary.

Proyecto Gran Simio

Proyecto Gran Simio

The decision comes on the heels of an extensive case filed by the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) and the Great Ape Project (or Proyecto Gran Simio), some two years in the making. The NGOs had filed for a writ of habeas corpus on Cecilia’s behalf, arguing that the circumstances of her confinement without companionship were unlawful and that her health was deteriorating as a result.

Judge Mauricio agreed, stating in her verdict that nonhumans indeed possess rights related to their “animal essence,” and decreeing that Cecilia should be transferred to the Great Ape Project’s sanctuary in Brazil within the coming months — the first time a habeas corpus case for an animal has resulted in this action.

“We’re not talking about the civil rights enshrined in the Civil Code,” she told the journal Los Andes, “but instead the species’ own rights: to development, to life in their natural habitat.”

With that, Cecilia will soon go from this …

Flickr/Mario Gonzalez

Flickr/Mario Gonzalez

… to this — a lush sanctuary where she can finally be herself.

Proyecto Gran Simio

Proyecto Gran Simio

Pedro Terrados Pozas, executive director of the Great Ape Project, calls the ruling a “landmark judgment,” stating in a press release that it should pave the way toward better treatment for animals in general. And perhaps it soon will.

Interestingly, Judge Mauricio’s ruling also included a request that officials in Mendoza take necessary steps to improve conditions for all the animals who will remain at the zoo after Cecilia departs.

In closing her verdict, the judge went on to summon the words of philosopher Immanuel Kant, asking they be kept in mind:

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

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