Argentine Court Declares Chimp's Right To Healthy Home

by Nicole Gibbs
In a historic ruling, an Argentine court has ordered Cecilia the chimp to be released from her zoo in Mendoza. Judge María Alejandra Mauricio took this step while providing Cecilia with nonhuman rights that include life, liberty, and freedom from harm.

Back in 2014, Argentina became the first country in the world to grant rights to nonhuman beings, in a similar case to free an orangutan named Sandra.
 
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Two years ago, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) and The Great Ape Project filed an appeal on Cecilia’s behalf. They stated that Cecilia’s conditions and isolation were causing her health to deteriorate.  She had been living in a less-than graffitied, stone encasement for an extended number of years. The Mendoza zoo is also infamous for allowing the sad death of allowing the death of the world’s saddest polar bear.
 
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Judge Mauricio sided on Cecilia’s behalf, agreeing the chimp should have certain rights. "We're not talking about the civil rights enshrined in the Civil Code, but instead the species' own rights to development, to life in their natural habitat," she told Los Andes Journal.
Judge Mauricio has ordered that Cecilia be released from her prison. She will move to The Great Ape’s sanctuary in Brazil, where she will live out her days in a beautiful, lush environment, surrounded by friends of her own species.
 
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Judge Mauricio included in her ruling that the zoo needs to take steps to improve conditions for all of the animals.

The ruling is a huge step forward in the fight for animal rights. In her closing statement, Judge Mauricio quoted Immanuel Kant, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Tell us YOUR heartwarming animal story in the comments below. 

Watch on Z Living: Finding Fido, where photographer and animal behaviorist Seth Casteel hosts plays matchmaker each week between a person and a pooch. ​Finding Fido premieres on Z Living in January 2017 (we know, we know, we're eager to watch too!)

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