Human 'mother’ of Ikea monkey will go to court to get him back
The owner of a monkey who was found in a Toronto Ikea parking lot last weekend wearing a shearling coat is going to court to get him back.
Published Saturday, December 15, 2012 4:56PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 15, 2012 8:16PM EST
The owner of a monkey who was found a week ago wandering around a Toronto Ikea parking lot sporting a tiny shearling coat has filed a motion with the Ontario Superior Court to get him back.
In a sworn affidavit, Yasmin Nakhuda argues that her tiny macaque monkey named “Darwin” was illegally taken from her and placed in the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont.
Nakhuda said the monkey, who has been living with her, her husband and their two children since July, considers her his mother.
Darwin shot to international fame after he was spotted by shoppers in an Ikea parking lot in his fitted coat and a diaper last Sunday. He had somehow managed to escape from his crate and exit his owner’s car.
Animal control officers eventually captured the tiny primate. They also fined Nakhuda $240 for breaking Toronto’s prohibited-animal bylaw.
In the court documents, Nakhuda claims that she and her husband were not allowed to see Darwin when they went to collect him at Toronto Animal Services later that day.
She also said she was tricked into surrendering her pet to Animal Services. She claims they told her she would never be able to see Darwin again and that she needed to sign over the monkey so he could be tested for diseases.
Nakhuda said that if Darwin is returned to her, her family would be prepared to move out of Toronto to a city that would allow her to own a monkey. She said her family has developed a special relationship with the primate. “We love Darwin and we believe that he in turn loves us and has developed a very close bond with us," she said in the documents.
"We miss our pet dearly. I believe it is also in Darwin's best interest to be returned to the only family he knows and loves. He is distressed because he has been taken away from me."
None of the allegations contained in the documents have been tested in court.
In the past, Nakhuda has argued that the Montreal-born monkey should be able to choose his own fate.
The sanctuary maintains that Darwin is adjusting well to his new home and they are prepared to fight any legal challenge to have him returned to his owners.
But Nakhuda maintains that the monkey needs her. In an interview earlier in the week she said that Darwin has grown attached to her.
"People who know him and know us can vouch for that fact that if I step out of the room, he'll have a fit; even if he's with us at the office and I step out, he'll start screaming,” she said in a phone interview.
Nakhuda's motion will be heard in Oshawa, Ont. on Dec. 20.
With files from the Canadian Press