Owner wants monkey back

Dec. 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM

TORONTO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Toronto lawyer Yasmin Nakhuda said Tuesday she wants authorities to return her little monkey Darwin, who was found wandering outside an IKEA store.

Nakhuda told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Darwin got out of her parked car Sunday afternoon. The rhesus macaque, sporting a faux-shearling coat and diapers, was captured in the IKEA parking lot and authorities placed it in a sanctuary

Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, was fined $240 for violating the city's prohibited-animal bylaw. She said she is consulting an attorney about the possibility of regaining custody of the monkey she now considers part of her family, though she said she would consider allowing Darwin to remain at the sanctuary if she feels comfortable about his future there.

"If the sanctuary is able to convince me ... that they are doing a better job, then for sure. Because everything has to be what's best for him," she said.

Nakhuda told the CBC she wasn't always so fond of the little guy she obtained from a client. Darwin required regular diaper changes and would scream whenever she left the room. It was, she said, so "horrendous" a challenge she tried to give him back to his original owner but Darwin screamed the moment they were separated.

"The gentlemen who had him started laughing and said to me 'Well guess what? He has chosen you, you're his mom,'" Nakhuda said.

Nakhuda said she accepted the role and even relished it.

"The fun part was the day we sneaked into the CNE [Canadian National Exhibition] with him," she told the CBC. "And we had fun and he was there in my little baby carrier and nobody knew there was a little monkey in there."

Darwin, she said, is a big fan of Quiznos sandwiches and will "go crazy," standing on the dashboard of the car and jumping up and down fast whenever he sees the store's sign.

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