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Ikea Monkey Darwin: Owner In Custody Battle

Thursday, December 20th 2012 00:26

A rally has taken to place to demand a pet monkey found wandering in an Ikea car park in Canada is returned to his owner.

Yasmin Nakhuda has launched a legal battle to get her pet, Darwin, back from the animal control officials she claims have illegally taken him.

She and 15 supporters held a protest on Wednesday outside Toronto Animal Services, where they could be heard chanting "free Darwin".

Ms Nakhuda was due to appear in court later to ask for an interim order to have the primate returned to her from the sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario, where he now lives.

Her lawyer, Ted Charney, said he had been told the sanctuary planned to ask for the case to be adjourned.

Ms Nakhuda, herself a property lawyer, told CTV News: "You don't really bump into a monkey. Well I did. It was an incredible experience looking at this little creature and I wanted to understand him.

"I did try to take him back to his breeder when I found out there could be certain legal consequences and, more importantly ... because he was very difficult to take care of.

"He was screaming when I tried to let him go and I didn't have the heart to let the little guy go. When I call him 'son', it's not because I'm wacko. I call him son because he has so many child-like qualities."

She was fined C$240 (£151) for illegally keeping the animal but did not face criminal charges.

The monkey made headlines across the world this month when he was spotted roaming the Swedish home products store while wearing a similar sheepskin coat to that famously favoured by football commentator John Motson.

He was identified as a rhesus macaque, a threatened species native to tropical climates in Asia - rather than the sub-zero temperatures often seen in Toronto during December.

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Sky News (c) Sky News 2012

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