South East Wales

Monkey selfie: Photographer 'relieved' over court ruling

Monkey selfie Image copyright Wildlife Personalities/David J Slater

A Monmouthshire wildlife photographer involved in a copyright row over a monkey selfie was "relieved" after a court ruled in his favour.

Animal rights activists argued all proceeds from the picture, taken in 2011, should benefit the monkey.

But a court in San Francisco disagreed, ruling copyright protection could not be applied to the monkey.

Snapper David Slater, of Mathern, said he believed he was "the first person in history to be sued by an animal".

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Media captionPhotographer David Slater said he believed he was "the first person in history to be sued by an animal"

The case was brought by the campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) which claimed Naruto, a crested macaque from Indonesia, should be the author and owner.

Yet Mr Slater, 50, said the monkey in his photograph was a female called Ella.

'Long saga'

The monkey took the photograph after Mr Slater set up the camera and purposefully left it alone so it would approach and play with it.

He described the case as a "long saga" which he was "relieved to get out of the way".

"They [PETA] are more about money and publicity than animals. They have wasted people's donations on pursuing this case," he said.

Image copyright ©Wildlife Personalities/David J Slater

"At least it's got people thinking about the monkey, its situation, animal rights and how intelligent these animals are."

A spokeswoman from PETA said despite the "setback", the case was "a vital step toward fundamental rights for non-human animals for their own sake".

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