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January 07, 2015

And Now A Blow-Off Story About a Monkey

An orang-utan named "Sandra" has been declared a "non-human person" vested with the typical rights of persons by an Argentine court and ordered released from imprisonment, I guess, from her zoo.

The orang-utan had been known to be shy and always hid from spectators. I guess this was taken to mean that Sandra was suffering in the zoo. Or something.

A shy orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognised the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday.

Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition - a document more typically used to challenge the legality of a person's detention or imprisonment - in November on behalf of Sandra, a 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Buenos Aires zoo.

The case hinged on whether she should be treated as a "thing" or a "person".

In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object.

The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a "non-human person".

If there is no appeal, she will be transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil where she can enjoy greater space freedom.

"This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and 'The Ed Show,'" the daily La Nacion newspaper quoted Paul Buompadre, a lawyer for AFADA, as saying.

I may have changed a word in that last post.


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