A monkey named Darwin that escaped and ran rampant through an Ikea parking lot will stay in a sanctuary and will not be returned to the owner, a Canadian court ruled.
The Japanese snow macaque will stay at the Story Book Primate Sanctuary in Ontario, where it has been held since animal services seized him, according to CBC News
. Darwin’s owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, has been trying to get him back, saying that animal services “duped her” and seized the monkey illegally.
Judge Mary Vallee classified Darwin as a wild animal, not a pet, which was important to the case because Canadian law said the owner of a wild animal is whoever possesses it, CBC News noted.
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Darwin found fame on the Internet when a video of him running around Ikea in December in a shearling coat became popular online. He had escaped from Nakhuda’s car. He’s even got his own Twitter account, @IKEAMonkey
, which is run by the sanctuary.
Daytime talker Anderson Cooper, who admitted to being a little obsessed with the IKEA monkey, devoted a special to the adorable little guy. In there, Nakhuda said in an interview that Darwin was like a son to her.
Nakhuda paid $5,000 for the monkey, which is illegal to own, CBC said. Vallee said that Nakhuda’s insistence the animal was a gift, which was proven to be untrue, “undermines her credibility” in the case.
In Cooper’s story on Darwin, officials with the animal sanctuary said Darwin has settled in very well and was bonding with a baboon.
Updates on Darwin’s progress are available on the Twitter account, including apparent issues with the absence of monkeys at Ikea.
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