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Orangutan granted human status settles into new Florida home

Sandra, a 33-year-old orangutan, was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina.
Credit: AP
The orangutan Sandra sits in her enclosure at the former city zoo now known as Eco Parque, in Buenos Aires outskirts, Argentina, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

WAUCHULA, Fla. (AP) — A 33-year-old orangutan granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina is settling into her new surroundings at the Center for Great Apes in central Florida.

Patti Ragan, director of the center in Wauchula, Florida, says Sandra is "very sweet and inquisitive" and adjusting to her new home. She was born in Germany and spent 25 years at the Buenos Aires Zoo before arriving in Florida on Nov. 5.

In 2015 Judge Elena Liberatori ruled that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person with rights. She remained at the zoo, which closed in 2016, until leaving for the U.S.

At the center, Sandra joins 21 orangutans and 31 chimpanzees rescued or retired from circuses, stage shows and the exotic pet trade.

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