Via the BBC:
A court in Argentina has ruled that a shy orangutan who spent the last 20 years in a zoo can be granted some legal rights enjoyed by humans. Lawyers had appealed to free Sandra from the Buenos Aires zoo by arguing that although not human, she should be given legal rights. They had argued that she was being illegally detained. If there is no appeal, the ape will be transferred to a sanctuary in Brazil where she will enjoy greater freedom. The singular case hung on whether the animal was a “thing” or a “person”. In December a New York State court threw out a request to free a privately owned chimpanzee arguing that the animal was property and had no legal rights.
A local animal rights activist reacts: “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.”