The owner of a monkey caught wandering outside a Toronto Ikea store this weekend said Tuesday the tiny primate rarely left her side until he was confiscated by authorities — and she wants him back.
Real estate lawyer Yasmin Nakhuda said she was baby-sitting the monkey for someone else, but when she tried to return him, the young rhesus macaque wouldn’t leave, letting out heartbreaking cries.
2. After that, Nakhuda, a mother of two, said the pet she named Darwin was near her at all times, including while she slept and showered.
‘At the beginning, I was told that was the best for him because generally, monkeys live off the back of the mom,’ she said.
3. ‘He always had to be within my view,’ she said, adding that he would ‘get into a panic attack’ the moment she was out of sight.
The seven-month-old rhesus macaque captured worldwide attention after he somehow let himself out of a parked car Sunday and ambled around the Ikea parking lot dressed in a stylish shearling coat and diaper.
4. The real estate lawyer took Darwin with her to the office, left, and dressed him up in a devil costume for Halloween, right,
5. Experts say it is not only illegal to have a monkey for a pet, but also could be dangerous because rhesus macaques like Darwin can carry the herpes B virus
6. He was eventually captured by animal control officers and was moved on Monday to a primate sanctuary about 60 miles northeast of Toronto.
Nakhuda, who was fined $240 for breaking the city's prohibited-animal bylaw, said she is consulting a lawyer to see if she can regain custody of the pet she considers part of her family.
7. ‘I know he cannot live without me,’ Nakhuda told CityNews Monday. ‘And everyone who knows Darwin can vouch for this. He needs his mother like a child needs his mother.’
Nakhuda said that having a monkey for a pet is not like raising a cat or a dog because he has ‘feelings like human beings.’
8. Nakhuda posted multiple videos on YouTube showing her daily interactions with Darwin, who could be seen playing at the office, dressed up as a devil with horns for Halloween and brushing his teeth along with his owner.
11. At the very least, Nakhuda said she would like to be involved in his transition to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, in Sunderland, Ontario. She said she's concerned about his well-being at the facility, noting he has shown signs in the past of disliking his own kind.
12. ‘He is more than a handful: needs to be baby bottle fed night time and needs at least 3 diaper change a day,’ Nakhuda wrote in the comments. ‘He has to be with me all the time which means he goes with me to the office, sleeps with me, eats with me, showers with me, goes shopping with me . . . it is more than a human baby so yes, not everyone can handle a baby monkey. He is now 6 months old only and is expected to be around 4 feet tall.’