Breaking News

Court Rules Orangutan Can Be Freed from Buenos Aires Zoo
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


sandra, legal news

Summary: An orangutan being held in a Buenos Aires zoo has been freed by a court ruling. 


An Argentine zoo has to release and transfer an orangutan that has been held, according to Reuters.

A court recognized the orangutan as a “non-human person” that has been unlawfully deprived of its freedom.

A habeas corpus petition was filed by animal rights campaigners that challenged the legality of the ape’s imprisonment. The petition was filed in November on behalf of the ape, named Sandra. She is 29 and Sumatran. She was being held at the Buenos Aires zoo.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

To read more about habeas corpus, click here.

The Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued that the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be held captive.

The court agreed with AFADA. It also ordered Sandra to be released and that she deserves the basic rights of a “non-human person.” Sandra was born into captivity in Germany prior to moving to Argentina.

Paul Buompadre, lawyer for AFADA, said, “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 scientific laboratories.”

This is not the first time habeas corpus writ has been used to secure a wild animal’s release from captivity. Earlier in December, a court in the United States dismissed a bid for the freedom of Tommy the chimpanzee.

To read more about Tommy the chimpanzee, click here.

Tommy is privately owned in New York. The court ruled that Tommy was not a ‘person’ entitled to the rights and protections of habeas corpus.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld in 2011 that claimed five wild-captured orca whales were mistreated. The case was dismissed by a court in San Diego.

The zoo in Buenos Aires has 10 days to file an appeal of the ruling. A zoo spokesperson did not comment on the ruling. Adrian Sestelo, the head of biology at the zoo, said that orangutans are calm by nature and also solitary.

To read more about PETA, click here.

“When you don’t know the biology of a species, to unjustifiably claim it suffers abuse, is stressed or depressed, is to make one of man’s most common mistakes, which is to humanize animal behavior,” Sestelo said.

Will the zoo appeal the court’s ruling? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

Will the Buenos Aires zoo appeal the court's ruling?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Image credit:


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Junior Real Estate Attorney

USA-ID-Coeur D Alene

Northern Idaho office of our client seeks a real estate attorney with 1-5 years of experience. The c...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-South Pasadena

South Pasadena office of our client seeks litigation associate attorney with 2+ years of experience....

Apply Now

Corporate and Real Estate Transactional Attorney


Dallas office of our client seeks corporate and real estate transactional attorney with experience. ...

Apply Now


Legal Secretary

USA-CA-San Jose

A downtown San Jose law firm is looking to hire a full-time legal secretary to support attorneys and...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have 1-3 years legal experience, either in the area of a...

Apply now

Junior Associate Attorney


Boutique law firm is looking to hire an entry-level attorney. Our main practice areas are commercial...

Apply now



Boutique litigation firm seeks a full-time paralegal to grow with us. Responsibilities include prepa...

Apply now


To Top