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Court Rules Chimpanzees Do Not Have Same Rights as People 

Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, answers a question outside Manhattan State Supreme Court, in New York, after a hearing, May 27, 2015. Lawyers for two chimpanzees went to court to argue that the animals have "personhood" rights and should be freed from the Long Island university where they are kept.

A New York state appeals court unanimously ruled Thursday that chimpanzees do not have the same legal rights as humans.

Writing for the five-judge panel, Justice Troy Weber wrote that even though chimps and humans share some of the same capabilities, it does not mean they can be “legally accountable for their actions.”

The animal advocacy group, The Nonhuman Rights Project, says it will take its case to a higher court.

The group is suing to move two chimps, Tommy and Kiko, from their captivity at a trailer park and a primate sanctuary in New York state to a bigger single facility in Florida.

The court said the group was not arguing against the chimps’ captivity, but asking that they be moved somewhere else.