WASHINGTON, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – Instead of seeing the latest and greatest in modern home furnishings at an IKEA in Canada, some customers received a different kind of lesson in style after spotting a baby monkey wearing a double-breasted shearling coat and diaper wandering around a parking lot near the store this weekend.
“It was the weirdest thing,” Stephanie Yim told CBC News in Toronto, about the tiny monkey she spotted peering at her from behind another vehicle in an upper-level parking lot outside the Swedish furniture store on Sunday.
Yim said she thought she was going “insane” when she found the Rhesus Macaque, now known as Darwin, and that the primate “seemed like it was screaming around for someone [it] knew. It was sad.”
The mystery of the animal’s appearance along with its screaming prompted Yim and other shoppers to follow the animal around the parking lot and contact staff members at IKEA, who were then able to keep the monkey confined until animal services arrived.
Darwin’s owners were eventually found, and had been apparently shopping in IKEA when the monkey escaped from a crate that they had left in their car in the parking lot, CBC News reported.
It’s against the law to keep a monkey as a pet in Toronto, and the owners have been fined $240 and animal services officials said they have no plans of returning the primate to them, CTV News in Toronto reported.
Instead, the five-month-old macaque will be transferred to an Ontario primate sanctuary.
“He’s been separated from his owner unfortunately, so we’re being recognizant of that and making sure he gets out to a place where they can care for him properly,” Toronto Animal Services supervisor Mary Lou Leiher said Monday.
Pictures taken of the monkey have gone viral on social media and prompted at least two parody accounts to be created on Twitter.