World

Argentine Court grants orangutan basic rights, will be sent to sanctuary

  • The orangutan named Sandra sits in her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    The orangutan named Sandra sits in her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • The orangutan named Sandra looks through a window at a journalist inside her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    The orangutan named Sandra looks through a window at a journalist inside her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • The orangutan named Sandra sits in her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a nature sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    The orangutan named Sandra sits in her enclosure at Buenos Aires' Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. An Argentine court has ruled that Sandra, who has spent 20 years at the zoo, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling would free Sandra from captivity and have her transferred to a nature sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

An Argentine court says an orangutan that has lived 20 years at the Buenos Aires zoo is entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans.

The ruling comes a month after a local animal rights group filed a habeas corpus writ in favor of "Sandra." Lawyers who represented the ape say the 29-year-old orangutan is expected to be transferred to a sanctuary soon to enjoy more freedom.

The Dec. 18 ruling was published Monday by the official judicial news agency. It says "a Great Ape has rights, including freedom and avoiding suffering from being in captivity." It also says that the animal should enjoy a more adequate habitat.

Andres Gil Dominguez represented the orangutan. He hailed the ruling Monday, calling it unprecedented.