OSHAWA Dec 21 Canada's most famous monkey will
not be donning his tiny Santa suit with his adoptive family this
year, after a judge ruled on Friday that the primate should stay
at an animal sanctuary until at least mid-January.
The animal's owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, tearfully navigated
through a throng of reporters and cameras after being told she
would not be allowed to take the 7-month-old monkey home for the
holidays. Another hearing is set for January.
Darwin, a rhesus macaque monkey, shot to social-media fame
this month after he was video-taped scurrying around an Ikea
store parking lot in Toronto, clad in a fake shearling coat and
diaper. He was later captured by animal control officers.
Monkeys are not legal pets in Toronto, so authorities moved
Darwin to a sanctuary near Oshawa, about an hour outside
Toronto. Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, then launched a court
bid to try to get him back.
In a statement of claim filed earlier this month, Nakhuda
said she was coerced into surrendering the monkey under the
threat of criminal charges and told she would not be allowed to
see him unless she cooperated.
If granted custody, Nakhuda said she plans to move her
family to a nearby cottage town that does not specifically ban
pet monkeys. Darwin has lived with the family in their Toronto
home since July.
The young monkey escaped from an animal crate in a parked
car as his owners shopped at Ikea in early December. The monkey
became an instant Internet sensation, complete with his own
Nakhuda has posted videos on YouTube showing the monkey
brushing his teeth and dressed up for Halloween. She told local
media that she has a Santa suit for him to wear at Christmas and
a bow tie for New Year's Eve.
(Writing by Julie Gordon; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Sandra