(Liz Klimas) A monkey wearing a tan winter coat with shearling trim spotted in a Canadian Ikea store might sound like either the beginning of a bad joke or an attention-drawing publicity stunt.
Turns out, the scene caused at a Toronto Ikea Sunday involving a rhesus monkey first spotted wandering the store’s parking lot was the (illegal) pet of shoppers who have since been fined.
According to The Globe and Mail, the diaper-clad monkey escaped its owners’ car after unlocking its crate. Being directed inside by store employees and the police until animal services could arrive, the monkey caused quite a stir among customers:
Lisa Lin, an Aurora resident, had just arrived at Ikea, around Leslie St. and Highway 401, Sunday afternoon to make some returns and purchase Christmas cards when she noticed the activity. She immediately snapped a picture of the monkey and later posted it on Instagram.
“It was pretty surreal,” said Ms. Lin, 30. “I thought ‘Is that really a monkey?’ Who brings a monkey to Ikea?”
Follow Up: Yahoo News
The Canadian woman whose shearling coat and diaper-wearing monkey made international headlines after it sprung loose in an Ikea parking lot says she will fight to get the monkey back from the primate sanctuary it is now calling home.
"The plan is to try to get him and move out of Toronto where I can own him," Yasmin Nakhuda, a Toronto-based lawyer, told ABCNews.com today.
Nakhuda's monkey, a seven-and-a-half month old Japanese snow macaque named Darwin, was sent to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont., by Toronto Animal Services yesterday after it escaped from Nakhuda's car while she was shopping at a local IKEA Sunday afternoon.
"I had gone to Ikea before and they had me escorted out and didn't want the monkey in…because they said they had a no pet provision, even though I said he was not a pet, he was my child," said Nakhuda, who obtained Darwin around five months ago from a close friend who is an exotic pet breeder.
"So the next time I went in [to IKEA] I told Darwin he was going to be in the car for a little while," she said. "I guess he got a little bit curious and unlocked the crate by himself and he unlocked he car door, which I wasn't expecting."
By the time Nakhuda, married and the mother of two sons, ages 16 and 12, returned to her car, Animal Services had already left with Darwin. He was taken to Story Book Farm, about an hour outside of Toronto, where the private sanctuary's founder says she was told by Animal Services he'll stay indefinitely.
"He came with the famous coat but the coat has been removed, the diaper has been removed and the harness has been removed," Story Book's Sherri Delaney told ABCNews.com today. "He's just going to be who he is now and that's a monkey."
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