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NY court asked to determine if chimp is legally a person

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By VERENA DOBNIK
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Should a chimpanzee be treated as a person with legal rights?

That's what attorney Steven Wise will try to persuade a New York appeals court in Manhattan on Thursday. Wise, who represents the Florida-based Nonhuman Rights Project animal advocacy group, plans to argue that two chimps named Tommy and Kiko should be freed from cages to live in an outdoor sanctuary.

Kiko's keeper, Carmen Presti, says no way is he letting go of the deaf monkey he and his wife rescued 23 years ago from a life performing in fairs and movies. They say Kiko is a member of their family at a sanctuary in Niagara Falls.

The attorney wants the couple to give up the chimp - as a person with a right to freedom away from a cage.

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