Argentine court: Orangutan a ‘person,’ must be freed from zoo

Argentine court: Orangutan a ‘person,’ must be freed from zoo

[Ed. – A surreal era wanted only this.  Next up: an “equal right” to man-orangutan marriage.]

The Argentine Court of Criminal Appeals has granted its first habeas corpus to an animal in captivity. The 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan named Sandra has been recognized as a “juridical person” and will be moved to a sanctuary in Brazil where she will live in semi-freedom. …

“From a dynamic rather than static legal interpretation,” the decision reads “it is necessary to ascribe to the animal the character of the subject of rights, since nonhuman subjects (animals) are rights-bearers, and thus their protection is guaranteed in the corresponding area.” …

Habeas corpus had been denied to Sandra last November in a ruling by the criminal magistrate, who said that Sandra could not be recognized as a “non-human person,” as the Association of Functionaries and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) had requested. This ruling has now been overturned, and the appeals court has declared that Sandra’s captivity was an “unreasonable confinement of an animal with proven cognitive ability.”

Adrian Sestelo, the zoo’s chief biologist, strenuously disagreed with the court’s decision, and called the case for freeing Sandra “fundamentalistic,” made in total ignorance of “the natural behavior of the species.”

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