After months of fierce legal battles and who knows how much money spent, it has been officially decided that a chimpanzee may not be called a person, at least in Austria.
I’m sure you’ve all just started breathing normally again after hearing this shocking news, so let’s take a closer look at how we got to this point.
The chimpanzee in question goes by the suitably human/chimp fusion name of Matthew Hiasl Pan. He and a chimp named Rosi were smuggled out of Sierra Leone as babies in 1982. They were en route to their fate as pharmaceutical test animals when Austrian customs officials came across the shipment containing the chimps. Matthew and Rosi have been living in an Austrian animal shelter for the past 25 years. Recently, however, the shelter has been threatened with bankruptcy, which threatens to leave Matthew homeless.