A juvenile chimpanzee uses a leaf sponge to drink palm wine in Bossou, Guinea. Gaku Ohashi/Chubu University, Japan, and Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Japan hide caption

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Should chimps have the same legal rights as these lawyers? Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Foundation, who is representing research chimps Hercules and Leo, says yes. Assistant Attorney General Christopher Coulston disagrees. They both made their arguments Wednesday in Manhattan State Supreme Court in New York. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Star enjoys a moment in the sun at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, La. Brandon Wade/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States and Chimp Haven hide caption

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Humans and chimpanzees — like this individual at a zoo in Australia — are animals who have evolved to forge extensive and elaborate social connections. Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images hide caption

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Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011. Sven Hoppe/DPA/Landov hide caption

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Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

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Two chimps groom each other at the Save the Chimps facility in Florida. The National Institutes of Health owns about 360 chimpanzees that aren't yet retired and that are living at research facilities; new guidelines say most of its chimps should be retired. Save the Chimps hide caption

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Rules Would Retire Most Research Chimps

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Rufus, 46, now lives on an island in a Florida sanctuary run by Save the Chimps. Before his rescue, Rufus lived in a facility Save the Chimps calls "the dungeon." Courtesy of Save the Chimps hide caption

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Chimpanzees check out a termite mound at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana. Chimp Haven hide caption

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Federally funded chimps at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana will retire to either a lab in Texas or a chimp sanctuary in Louisiana. Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States hide caption

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