Argentine judge says “Chimpanzees have rights” as she orders release of Cecilia at Mendoza Zoo
We have a big #cheer today for the news that a judge in Argentina ruled that chimpanzees have legal rights and ordered that a chimp kept in isolation at a zoo be released to a sanctuary.
Cecilia, the chimpanzee, spent years living by herself after the death of two of her troop mates at the Mendoza Zoo, infamous for the death of the “world’s saddest polar bear” who was living in horrifying conditions earlier this year.
Due to the ruling of Judge María Alejandra Mauricio, however, Cecilia’s life will be enriched. Because Cecilia’s legal rights were recognized, she will be released into the care of the Brazil’s Great Ape Project’s sanctuary, which provides lifetime care of chimps who were exploited by zoos and circuses.
“We’re not talking about civil rights enshrined in the Civil Code,” she told the newspaper Los Andes. “We’re talking about the species’ own rights: development and life in their natural habitat.”
Pedro Pozas Terrados, executive director of the Great Ape Project, said ‘this landmark judgement supports our struggle to consider animals’ rights and change their futures.”
Terrados had visited the Mendoza Zoo, and after witnessing the living conditions of Cecilia, he complained to the Argentine media. We welcome this progress in Argentina and understand all too well the harm that exploitative captivity creates for animals all too well. Friends of Animals currently manages Primarily Primates, a sanctuary in Texas that is not open to tourists and where the main goal is the safety and well-being of the 350 animals in our care, many of whom arrived at the sanctuary after being exploited by the entertainment and biomedical industries. They too are in captivity, but the staff is devoted to making sure this portion of an animal’s life is as dignified and enriched as possible following being exploited by research, entertainment or the pet trade. Learn more about the sanctuary at www.PrimarilyPrimates.org and follow it on Facebook for daily updates!