Ikea Monkey to stay at sanctuary while ownership is decided

Darwin the monkey at the Ikea store. (LISA LIN PHOTO)

Darwin the monkey at the Ikea store. (LISA LIN PHOTO)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:35 PM ET

OSHAWA, Ont. — An Ontario Superior Court judge says Darwin the Ikea monkey will not be returned to his owner, at least for now.

Justice Michael Brown dismissed Yasmin Nakhuda’s motion to regain possession of her beloved pet before her civil suit against the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, based in Sunderland, Ont., is heard this spring. Brown said he was not convinced that “irreparable harm” would come to the rhesus macaque monkey or its bond to Nakhuda.

“It must be remembered Darwin is not a human being,” Brown said, adding that as such the rules of custody that would apply to a child, for example, do not apply to it.

Darwin shot to global fame after it broke free from a crate in Nakhuda’s SUV and went for a stroll in an Ikea store parking lot in December. It was clad in a fashion-forward shearling coat and eventually caught by animal services officers.

Brown said to succeed in the motion, Nakhuda’s legal team had to convince him that there was a “high degree” of certainty they would be successful with the up-coming civil suit. But with a large amount of conflicting evidence, Brown said he could not be certain of Nakhuda’s success at trial.

Brown dismissed Nakhuda’s motion, which means Darwin will stay at the sanctuary. After lingering inside the courtroom for nearly an hour, Nakhuda emerged visibly upset.


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