Orangutan granted ‘personhood’ turns 34, makes new friend

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/Gray News) — An orangutan who was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina and later found a new home in Florida celebrated her 34th birthday on Valentine’s Day with a special new friend.

According to the Associated Press, Sandra has befriended a 31-year-old male orangutan named Jethro.

Prior to coming to Florida, Sandra had lived alone in a Buenos Aires zoo.

The director of the Center for Great Apes says Sandra has adjusted beautifully to her life at the sanctuary.

The center is home to 22 orangutans and Sandra was a bit shy when she arrived.

An Argentine judge’s landmark ruling in 2015 declared that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person, and thus entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by people.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.