The monkey who burst to international fame after being seen ambling around a Toronto IKEA parking lot in a faux-sheepskin coat will not be celebrating Christmas at home this year: A judge has ruled that Darwin must remain at an animal sanctuary.
Monkeys may not be kept as pets, according to Toronto law. After animal control officers captured the monkey, it was transferred to a sanctuary near Oshawa, outside Toronto, Reuters reported.
Owner Yasmin Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, went to court, eager to try regain custody of her beloved pet. Nakhuda was disappointed to learn that her 7-month-old money would not be allowed home for the holidays when a judge ordered that the animal will remain in the sanctuary until at least next month.
In an earlier interview, she claimed she had been threatened with criminal charges if she did not cooperate and turn over the animal.
Nakhuda told local media that she had prepared a Santa’s suit costume for her pet for Christmas and New Year. She also posted a video featuring her and the clever monkey brushing their teeth together before bed.
Other videos showed her doting on the animal, buying it fashionable clothes and teaching it to behave.
Her next court hearing is scheduled for January. If her custody is restored, Nakhuda said she plans to move to a cottage town outside Toronto, one which has no specific ban on keeping monkeys as pets.
Darwin the monkey became an Internet sensation earlier this month after it escaped from an animal crate in Nakhuda’s car while she was shopping at an IKEA store. The ape was wearing a sheepskin coat and a diaper when it was videotaped and photographed by shocked store visitors. Videos of the monkey were soon posted on YouTube, while pictures of it flooded socials networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.