(PRIMATES/ANIMAL RIGHTS) Tommy, a lonely chimpanzee held captive by his owner, is making history as the first non-human primate to sue his captor to gain his freedom. While investigating a trailer junk yard, animal rights lawyer Steven Wise found more than he bargained for.

Wise found Tommy in what he describes as a dungeon. In order to win Tommy his freedom, Wise—alongside a group of outstanding animal rights lawyers—filed a lawsuit in Tommy’s name against his captors. Some think Wise is going overboard, but primates are intelligent and social creatures who have the right to their own freedom. Continue reading for more on the lawsuit and share your thoughts in the comments below. — Global Animal

Chimpanzee, Captive animals, captive primates, monkeys
Tommy the chimpanzee sits inside of his cage. Photo Credit: NY Times

New York Times, Charles Siebert,

Just before 4 p.m. on Oct. 10, Steven Wise pulled his rental car in front of a multiacre compound on State Highway 30 near the tiny Adirondack hamlet of Gloversville, N.Y., and considered his next move. For the past 15 minutes, Wise had been slowly driving the perimeter of the property, trying to get a better read on the place. An assortment of transport trailers — for horses and livestock, cars, boats and snowmobiles — cluttered a front lot beside a single-story business office with the sign “Circle L Trailer Sales” set above the door. At the rear of the grounds was a barn-size, aluminum-sided shed, all its doors closed, the few small windows covered in thick plastic.

With each pass, he looked to see if anybody was on the grounds but could find no one. A number of times Wise pulled off the road and called his office to check whether he had the right place. It wasn’t until he finally spotted a distant filigree of deer antlers that he knew for certain. The owner of Circle L Trailer, Wise had read, runs a side enterprise known as Santa’s Hitching Post, which rents out a herd of reindeer for holiday events and TV spots, including commercials for Macy’s and Mercedes-Benz.

Read the full New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/magazine/the-rights-of-man-and-beast.html?hp&_r=1