Lifestyle & Belief

Ikea monkey Darwin staying in zoo, Toronto judge rules

Canadians are resting easily again after a judge on Friday settled a national crisis of conscience: the Ikea monkey is staying in a zoo.

Forget that Prime Minister Stephen Harper kiboshed important political and social debates when he postponed parliament.

Or that Quebec has again raised hackles from Moose Jaw to Whitehorse by trying to ban all religious symbols from all public buildings.

Regardless of where your opinions on the issue sit, at least now we can all move forward. There will be calm on the streets of Thunder Bay tonight.

“The monkey is a wild animal,” Justice Mary Vallee wrote in the decision, handed down Friday in a Toronto courtroom.

Darwin made international headlines last December when he appeared outside an Ikea store wearing a tiny shearling coat and preemie diapers.

Authorities confiscated the monkey, a Japanese macaque, and turned him over to Story Book Primate Sanctuary.

Darwin had escaped his owner’s vehicle, and when Yasmin Nakhuda realized what had happened, she began a legal battle with Story Book to get her monkey back.

Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, argued animal control officers had no authority in the matter, and that she was tricked into signing his release papers. The farm cited a law that declares wild animals truly wild: they are masters to no human.

Vallee agreed with the farm: “Ms. Nakhuda lost ownership of the monkey when she lost possession.”

As for Darwin, he’s obviously taking time before making public comments.

How do we know that? Because he hasn't tweeted since last December.

The entire legal judgement, no doubt precedent setting in Canada’s world-renowned justice system, is available below.

Ikea Monkey Judgment by cynthia_mcleod213