The Nonhuman Rights Project is filing three lawsuits in New York State this week to rescue chimpanzees from abusive situations and move them to sanctuary.
The first suit, filed today, concerns Tommy, who lives alone in a small cement cage at a used trailer lot in Gloversville. Tommy is the last of six chimps that were kept in cages at the business to attract customers. In the last three to four years, all but Tommy have died.
The second lawsuit will be filed Tuesday on behalf of Kiko, a chimpanzee who is deaf and living in a private home in Niagara Falls. The third will be filed Thursday on behalf of Hercules and Leo, who are being used in locomotion experiments at Stony Brook University on Long Island.
The legal cause of action being invoked is the common law writ of habeas corpus, in which a person being held captive seeks relief by calling upon his captors to show cause as to why they have the right to hold him or her. The aim is to breach the legal wall that separates humans from nonhuman animals.