Darwin makes a monkey out of shoppers

A stylishly dressed monkey that caused a frenzy as it wandered around the parking lot of a Canadian Ikea store will be transferred to a sanctuary.

Toronto police were called to the furniture store on Sunday after the monkey escaped from its cage and began running around a parking area.

One witness, Bronwin Page, said the animal, identified as a five-month- old male Rhesus macaque, looked scared as it scurried around the ever growing crowd of people.

“We quickly realised it was a monkey wearing a coat and a diaper,” said Page. “That was pretty bizarre.”

The owners gave up the monkey, called Darwin, to authorities, who will donate the animal to an area primate sanctuary.

“He appears to be in good health,” said Toronto Animal Services worker Mary Lou Leiher.

Leiher says the monkey — originally from Montreal — is being fed and cared for while officials try to find an animal sanctuary for him.

She says the owners of the baby monkey named Darwin have been fined C$240 (€188) for breaking the city’s prohibited-animal bylaw.

The simian — wearing a tiny double-breasted coat — broke out of his crate inside a vehicle outside the Ikea store, then pried open a door and began his romp around the parking lot as shoppers gawked and snapped photos.

Leiher says there is a chance the monkey might by carrying Herpes B, and that having the creature live in a city puts both the animal and human beings at risk.

She says the monkey was very quiet and lacked signs of personality during a brief visit, adding that this can be a sign of stress.


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