Argentine orangutan Sandra to head to US great ape sanctuary

The solitary life of a 33-year-old orangutan with gentle eyes and dark-red hair will take a turn this week when she leaves Argentina's capital for the United States

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The solitary life of a 33-year-old orangutan with gentle eyes and dark-red hair will take a turn this week when she leaves Argentina's capital for the United States.

After a quarantine period in Kansas, Sandra is headed for a sanctuary in Florida, the Center for Great Apes.

Judge Elena Liberatori ruled in 2015 ruled that Sandra was legally not an animal but a non-human person who has rights. That turned the orangutan who has only known limited concrete enclosures into a focus of world attention.

Sandra was born in a zoo in Germany and moved to Argentina a quarter century ago. She has lived most of her life in a basketball court-sized cell in the more-than-century-old Buenos Aires zoo, in conditions protested by animal rights groups as inadequate.