NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to free two chimpanzees from a New York state university by arguing the human-like animals deserved “personhood” status.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Manhattan judge Barbara Jaffe sided with the higher court decision last year that said the chimps Hercules and Leo are property, not people, and they’re not being unlawfully detained by the science department at Stony Brook University.

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The personhood argument was put forth by lawyers with The Nonhuman Rights Project, who said the highly intelligent chimpanzees are “autonomous and self-determining beings.”

“They’re in cages. They’re by themselves. They don’t have any adults around. They don’t go outside,” attorney Steven Wise said.

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The organization had hoped to place them in a Florida sanctuary.

Though she dismissed the case, Judge Jaffe said efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are understandable; someday they may even succeed, Diamond reported.

“She agreed that personhood is not limited to human beings and it’s not a matter of biology. But it’s really a matter of asking who ought to count in law,” Wise said.

Wise added that he does plan to appeal.

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