NEW ORLEANS — An animal rights group is suing to get a chimpanzee named Candy out of an amusement park where, it says, she smokes cigarettes and is given soft drinks instead of water.

Candy is isolated in an inadequate cage at the Baton Rouge park, and should be moved to a sanctuary, according to the federal suit filed in Baton Rouge on Tuesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“Defendants have for decades allowed members of the general public to throw items into Candy’s cage, including lit cigarettes that Candy smokes. Just as with humans, cigarette smoking is very harmful for chimpanzees,” and letting her smoke violates the Endangered Species Act, the suit states.

The lawsuit is the first filed under a new federal rule that requires captive chimps get the same protection as wild chimps, said Carter Dillard, the group’s attorney. That rule, which was made public in June and took effect Sept. 14, changes captive chimps’ classification from threatened to endangered, the same classification as wild chimps.

Jennifer Treadway-Morris, attorney for park owner Sam Haynes, cited a letter from a veterinarian stating that an attempt to retire Candy to the Baton Rouge Zoo failed.

“She was returned because she couldn’t adjust and couldn’t assimilate,” Treadway-Morris said. “It seems that if they want her to have company, she doesn’t want it.”

The animal rights group said it went to court for Cathy Breaux, 62, and Holly Reynolds, 96, who have long campaigned to get Candy moved from the Dixie Landin’ park.