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Orangutan makes international trip to sanctuary home

Sandra is traveling from Argentina to Florida
Sandra Orangutan
Orangutan Sandra
Posted at 10:52 PM, Sep 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 02:03:21-04

WAUCHULA, Fla. — The Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina gave a special animal a fresh start.

Sandra, a female orangutan, was taken to the U.S. Thursday.

Her final destination is the Center for Great Apes, a sanctuary in Florida that specializes in the care and protection of apes.

The orangutan was born in Germany in 1986 and lived in the Buenos Aires Zoo for 25 years.

Veterinarians from the South American zoo say they think a new and better life awaits her.

This journey was made possible after a groundbreaking appeal in 2014 that granted the ape the same legal rights as humans.

A ruling found Sandra to be Argentina's first "non-human person with the right to liberty."

She was living a solitary life in the zoo, more so after her baby was taken from her and sold to an animal park in China back in 1999.

The Argentine judge, Elena Liberatori, told reporters in 2015, "With that ruling I wanted to tell society something new, that animals are sentient beings and that the first right they have is our obligation to respect them."

While the initial plan to was to return her to the wild, it was determined that the sanctuary would be a safer option, as she had only ever known the inside of a concrete enclosure and would likely struggle to adapt to the wild.

Sandra is currently in quarantine in Kansas.