Toronto woman wants her stylishly dressed monkey back

Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:05pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The owner of a monkey that became a media sensation after running around a Toronto department store parking lot in a stylish coat and a diaper wants her pet back, or at least assurances he is being well cared for.

Yasmin Nakhuda, who was fined for breaking Toronto's prohibited animal bylaw, told CBC News that she was talking to a lawyer on whether she could regain custody of Darwin.

But she said she would drop her fight if she knew he was receiving good care.

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

Police were called to an Ikea store on Sunday afternoon in Canada's most populous city after the monkey broke loose from a crate and its owner's parked car.

Crowds gathered to see the monkey as it scurried around the store's parking lot. The well-clad monkey soon became a hit on social media sites, including Twitter.

The monkey has been sent to a local primate sanctuary and is in good condition, according to authorities.

Nakhuda, who said she had grown close to Darwin, said she had owned the monkey for five months. She said she was lent the animal by an acquaintance who later said he did not want it back.

"There was no harm, it was all love," she said.

(Reporting by Russ Blinch; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Darwin, the monkey is pictured in this handout photo taken by Toronto Animal Services, December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Toronto Animal Services/Handout