OSHAWA, Ont. – A primate sanctuary where the Ikea Monkey has been living for the past five months is no longer alleging his former owner abused him.
Toronto Animal Services scooped up Darwin the monkey when he was found wandering around a Toronto Ikea parking lot in December wearing a little faux-shearling coat and eventually sent him to the sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont.
Yasmin Nakhuda, who refers to herself as Darwin’s “mom,” is suing the sanctuary to get him back, alleging animal services tricked her into surrendering him.
She has gone to court twice already in ultimately unsuccessful bids to get Darwin back on an interim basis and at one of those hearings the sanctuary alleged that she had abused the monkey.
At the outset of a trial today in Oshawa, Ont., the lawyer for the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary said it was withdrawing those allegations in the interest of keeping the trial short.
Nakhuda, who vehemently denied the allegations at the time, shook her head in court as the sanctuary lawyer made the announcement.
There is a large amount of public interest in the case. Before the trial began Thursday the case had to be moved to a larger courtroom to hold the dozens of members of the media, supporters of both Nakhuda and the sanctuary and members of the public who are attending.