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Florida orangutan granted 'personhood' makes new friend

Posted at 5:18 AM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 12:58:34-05

WAUCHULA, Fla. — An orangutan who was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina and later found a new home in Florida celebrated her 34th birthday on Valentine's Day with a special new friend.

The director of the Center for Great Apes says Sandra has adjusted beautifully to her life at the sanctuary and has befriended Jethro, a 31-year-old male orangutan. Prior to coming to Florida, Sandra had lived alone in a Buenos Aires zoo.

The center is home to 22 orangutans and Sandra was a bit shy when she arrived.

An Argentine judge's landmark ruling in 2015 declared that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person, and thus entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by people.