Thursday, September 27, 2007

Am I not a man?

Click on the title for a link to the article.

There is a lovely pair of chimps in Austria in dire straits. They were kidnapped from their mothers as babies in the wild - smuggled in cold, dark boxes into Austria for medical experiments. Fortunately, customs types found them and rather than being forced to take icky medicines or receive routine bits of torture, they have lived for the last 25 years in a shelter.

The shelter has declared bankruptcy and may close. Animal activists are concerned what this will mean for the Chimps. In a quirk of Austrian law, animals can not receive personal gifts (like donation towards the costs of care) because they aren't "persons." So, the group went to court to get the chimps declared "persons" so that they could have human guardians appointed and thus be cared for.

I'm thinking this is one of those opportunities for a court to make a humane decision or find a solution that respects the law but also captives who cannot fend for themselves. It would have been so much easier if they'd been taught to read and write and use a computer.

1 comment:

Joe said...

They don't need gifts. Why can't they just be transferred to a zoo?