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Update: Darwin the Ikea Monkey Will Not Return To Owner Says Judge


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'Smart monkey' runs loose at Toronto Ikea parking lot

Monkey was wearing coat, diapers

CBC News

Posted: Dec 9, 2012 3:36 PM ET

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2012 8:48 PM ET

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A monkey wearing a miniature shearling coat and diapers was collected by animal services on Sunday afternoon, after shoppers spotted the animal in the parking lot of a Toronto Ikea store.

The owners, who were shopping in the store at the time, have come forward to claim the monkey, Toronto Police Sgt. Ed Dzingala told CBC News.

Dzingala said that the animal was in a car in the parking lot and it somehow let itself out of its crate. "It's a smart monkey," he said.

An Ikea spokesperson told CBC News that the monkey was first spotted in the parking lot of the Ikea store located near Leslie Street and Highway 401.

Staff at the store quickly contacted animal control, and the monkey was kept confined until animal services arrived at around 3 p.m.

'It would start monkey-screaming'

Shopper Stephanie Yim said she believes she was the first person to spot the escaped monkey.

After parking her car on the upper-level parking lot, she saw the animal peeking out from behind another vehicle.si-220-monkey-pic.jpgA monkey was loose at Toronto Ikea on Sunday. (Courtesy of Bronwyn Page)

"It was the weirdest thing." she told CBC News. "I thought I was going insane."

Yim, along with other bystanders, began following the monkey as it skittered across the parking lot.

She said that while the monkey didn't appear to be scared, it cried out at times.

"It would start 'monkey-screaming,'" Yim said. "It seemed like it was screaming around for someone [it] knew. It was sad."

Shoppers eventually alerted Ikea staff, who then contacted animal services.

The Canadian Press reported that the monkey was eventually reunited with its owners.

Monkeys are prohibited as pets in Toronto, according to the city's Municipal Code. Sgt. Ed Dzingala said that police haven't laid any charges or fines.

The incident prompted the creation of at least two parody accounts on Twitter.</p>

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We are learning more about the monkey. Apparently he was owned by a Toronto couple rumoured to be fundamentalist atheist "evolutionaries" - why else name the monkey Darwin, eh?

The couple are facing a fine of $240 for keeping a prohibited animal as a pet. It seems the City of Toronto is anti-monkey and yet Rob Ford is allowed to run wild. Go figure.

Authorities are looking for a new home for Darwin who is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. Perhaps the Toronto Animal Services should contact TSN's James Duthie who has extensive experience working with monkeys including Tie Domi, Glen Healey and PeeAir Maguire and of course that celebrated prognosticating primate - Maggie the Crab Eating Macaque. Here is a picture of Maggie and James Duthie... BTW Maggie is on the left.


A baby monkey found wandering alone in a Toronto IKEA parking lot Sunday afternoon will not be released into the wild, but handed over to a sanctuary that is able to properly care for him, local animal authorities say.

Five-month-old Darwin remained in the care of Animal Services at a facility near Keele and Sheppard Avenues Monday, a day after it was spotted wandering around the store’s upper-level parking lot clad in a shearling coat and diaper.

Police were called to the scene around 2:30 p.m., and a short time later, the monkey’s owners surrendered him to city authorities. They were charged $240 for keeping a prohibited animal.

“We have no plans of returning him,” Toronto Animal Services supervisor Mary Lou Leiher told reporters Monday morning.

Officials say the monkey will be transferred to an Ontario primate sanctuary.

She described the monkey, now with animal caregivers, as sensitive and uncomfortable around people.

“He’s been separated from his owner unfortunately, so we’re being recognizant of that and making sure he gets out to a place where they can care for him properly,” Leiher said.

Authorities have spoken with the Toronto Zoo and animal protection agency Zoocheck Canada to determine a suitable home.

The animal agency is concerned he may carry Herpes B, which is found in his species type and can be transmitted to humans.


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I see a new IKEA ad campaign.

Show Darwin in the IKEA parking lot, fade to the self-serve area as he picks up the flat packs, scene switch to his home where wielding the ubiquitous hex end angle wrench he puts together the furniture.

Fade to a black screen and the words appear....


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