4 December 2014 Last updated at 16:50 ET
Chimpanzee Tommy is believed to be 40 years old
A chimpanzee is not entitled to the same rights as people and does not have be freed from captivity by its owner, a US court has ruled.
The appeals court in New York state said caged chimpanzee Tommy could not be recognised as a “legal person” as it “cannot bear any legal duties”.
The Nonhuman Rights Project had argued that chimps who had such similar characteristics to the humans deserved basic rights, including freedom.
The rights group said it would appeal.
In its ruling, the judges wrote: “So far as legal theory is concerned, a person is any being whom the law regards as capable of rights and duties.
“Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions.”
The court added that there was no precedent for treating animals as persons and no legal basis.