Hiasl enjoys a pastry every now and again. He enjoys to paint and to just relax and watch TV. There is probably a litany of things that Hiasl (pronounced HEE-zul) enjoys doing similar to you and I. The only thing is that Hiasl is not a person, at least not yet. He is a 26 year old chimpanzee. However, if animal activists get their way, he will be declared a “person”.
“Our main argument is that Hiasl is a person and has basic legal rights,” said Eberhart Theuer, a lawyer leading the challenge on behalf of the Association Against Animal Factories, a Vienna animal rights group.
“We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under certain conditions,” Theuer said.
“We’re not talking about the right to vote here.” (Breitbart)
The shelter that Hiasl and Rosie have lived in for 25 years went bankrupt and activists are looking to ensure the two monkeys do not wind up homeless. It appears that the two have already had their share of suffering.
Activists want to ensure the apes don’t wind up homeless if the shelter closes. Both have already suffered: They were captured as babies in Sierra Leone in 1982 and smuggled in a crate to Austria for use in pharmaceutical experiments. Customs officers intercepted the shipment and turned the chimps over to the shelter.
Primate rights for monkeys, what a novel concept … Monkeys are people too.
Austria isn’t the only country where primate rights are being debated. Spain’s parliament is considering a bill that would endorse the Great Ape Project, a Seattle-based international initiative to extend “fundamental moral and legal protections” to apes.
Battle for a chimp to get ‘person’ status
Isn’t this how the Planet of the Apes movie series started?
In a closely watched test case that could set a global legal precedent for granting basic rights to apes, Austrian animal rights advocates are waging an unusual court battle to get the 26-year-old male chimpanzee legally declared a “person.”
Hiasl’s supporters argue that he needs that status to become a legal entity who can receive donations and get a guardian to look out for his interests. (CNN)