And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (Genesis 9:5-6)
Equating animals to humans is the logical result of evolutionary thinking. If we all evolved from the same source, then all creatures are equally amoral, and there should be no outrage over a human killing an ape to save a human. But there is outrage, and the humans are held to a higher standard. Why? As you point out so clearly, it is because humans are created in God’s image, and we have His innate moral standard, but the ape does not. Furthermore, God’s moral standard does hold human life as more valuable than animal life. (See Genesis 9:5-6 above) Human life is to be preserved above all others. By the way, that would include “unborn” human life.