Ikea monkey heads to Canada primate sanctuary

Shoppers at a furniture store in Toronto were shocked to find a monkey on the loose in the car park.

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A monkey who caused a stir by appearing in a Toronto Ikea store wearing a sheepskin coat and a nappy has been sent to a primate sanctuary.

Five-month-old Darwin was transferred to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario, after spending the night in a city animal shelter.

Pictures of the bundled-up rhesus macaque were spread around the world by social media.

Darwin's owners were fined C$240 (£151) for owning a prohibited animal.

"It's a very exotic choice for a pet," Mary Lou Leiher, programme manager for Toronto Animal Services, told reporters. "Common sense would say: get a dog."

Ms Leiher said the monkey's former owners obtained Darwin in Montreal when he was about one-and-a-half months old. They have surrendered custody.

"They understand that the incident that occurred yesterday wasn't appropriate," she said.

Toronto Animal Services noted that the monkey species can carry a type of herpes dangerous to humans.

Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary currently has 22 monkeys on site, with Darwin and two female rhesus monkeys scheduled to arrive over the next few weeks.

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