Leo and Hercules are the two research chimpanzees who were front and center in a recent habeas corpus case. While the organization that argued for their release lost their case, the chimps will be retired.
Stony Brook University, where they were used for physiological research, announced on Friday that the project had concluded, writes Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Stony Brook said that the chimps wouldn’t be used for any more research at the university and that it had nothing to do with Thursday’s court ruling.
Here’s an excerpt of Thursday’s story on the ruling:
NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang reports “[the Nonhuman Rights Project] was trying to get them released to a sanctuary by arguing that the chimps have complex cognitive abilities and should be considered legal ‘persons.’ In the ruling, Justice Barbara Jaffe acknowledges that similarities between chimpanzees and humans ‘inspire the empathy for a beloved pet.’ ”
The judge wrote that someday they may get legal rights, but that courts don’t embrace change quickly. The chimps are held by Stony Brook University.
As we reported previously, this isn’t the first time that the Nonhuman Rights Project has presented its case in court — Justice Jaffe heard arguments in May.