The Straits Times
Published on Dec 22, 2012

Canada's 'Ikea monkey' to spend Christmas at sanctuary


OSHAWA (REUTERS) - Canada's most famous monkey will not be donning his tiny Santa suit with his adoptive family this year, after a judge ruled on Friday that the primate should stay at an animal sanctuary until at least mid-January.

The animal's owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, tearfully navigated through a throng of reporters and cameras after being told she would not be allowed to take the 7-month-old monkey home for the holidays. Another hearing is set for January.

Darwin, a rhesus macaque monkey, shot to social-media fame this month after he was video-taped scurrying around an Ikea store parking lot in Toronto, clad in a fake shearling coat and diaper. He was later captured by animal control officers.

Monkeys are not legal pets in Toronto, so authorities moved Darwin to a sanctuary near Oshawa, about an hour outside Toronto. Ms Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, then launched a court bid to try to get him back.