Sandra is an Orangutan who spent 25 years in a tiny prison cell-like enclosure in a zoo in Argentina, isolated from any other Orangutans.
“A lawyer in Argentina filed a writ of habeas corpus, used as a legal means to review cases of unfair imprisonment, on behalf of Sandra, a 28-year-old orangutan who was so shy and traumatized in her captivity she would hide in a corner when when visitors arrived at the zoo to stare at her through the glass.”
In 2015, Judge Elena Liberatori heard the case and in a landmark ruling declared that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person, thus entitled to many legal rights enjoyed by people, including healthy and humane living conditions.
“With that ruling I wanted to tell society something new, that animals are sentient beings and that the first right they have is our obligation to respect them,” the judge told the Associated Press.”
This year Sandra was transferred to one of the most respected Great Ape sanctuaries in the world: The Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida. Patti Ragan, is the director of the Center and said Sandra is “very sweet and inquisitive” and adjusting to her new home.
“She was shy when she first arrived, but once she saw the swings, toys and grassy areas in her new home, she went out to explore,” Ragan said. “She has met her caregivers here and is adjusting well to the new climate, environment and the other great apes at the center.”
“This is the first time in over a decade that Sandra has had the opportunity to meet other orangutans, and she will meet them when she chooses. It is a new freedom for her, and one we are grateful to provide.”
Sandra the Orangutan now has the protected legal rights of a person and is happy in her new home.
5. Center For Great Apes website: https://www.centerforgreatapes.org/meet-apes/orangutans/sandra/
6. centerforgreatapes on ig