On July 26, 2022, Chilean NGO Fundación Justicia Interespecie filed the first petition for a writ of habeas corpus in favor of a non-human animal in the Court of San Miguel Chile. The petition for habeas corpus [which protects against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment] seeks recognition of legal personhood for an orangutan named Sandai whose rights have been violated by being kept in captivity at the Buin Zoo in Santiago. The petition also requests that Sandai be transferred from the zoo to a great apes sanctuary in Brazil.
The president of Fundación Justicia Interespecie described their position as “Sandai is not only a sentient being, but also a non-human person, subject of rights, and holder of certain basic rights such as the right to individual liberty, life and the prohibition of torture. We believe that these rights are violated in the situation in which he currently lives.”
on July 27, 2022, the Court of Appeals of San Miguel declared the habeas corpus presented in favor of Sandai inadmissable.
On Wednesday, August 10, 2022 the Chilean Supreme Court rejected Interspecies Justice Foundation’s appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeals of San Miguel, citing article 19 of the Chilean Constitution, and interpreting the term “person” to mean “every individual of the human species”, therefore upholding the decision of the Court of Appeals of San Miguel.