Over the past 24 hours the effortlessly stylish, sheepskin coat-wearing Rhesus Macaque has swept the planet, filling the hearts of all cute-animal lovers with compassion, and concern. Seeing a the little monkey, who was also wearing a diaper, is akin to seeing a lost baby crawling around a Toronto Ikea store, scared, lost, alone. So, while it was painfully cute it was also fairly tragic.
The aptly named Darwin (we suspect he was named after The Wild Thornberrys' chimpanzee), is now in safe hands with the Toronto Animal Services, and is about to make his way to the Storybook Farms Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, about 100 km northeast of Toronto, according to the National Post.
While we're overjoyed he's finally in safe hands, we're nevertheless still left with the question of how and why Darwin was loose in Ikea. Rhesus Macaques are illegal animals in Toronto, so he shouldn't have been in the city at all. The Sun reports that according to a local staff sergeant Ed Dzingala Darwin, Darwin had managed to break out of his "crate" and then open the car door... which surely should have been locked. "He's a smart monkey to manage all of that." Dzingala said.
Despite the apparent negligence of the owner, who was harbouring an illegal animal, because he claimed not to have known that Darwin was illegal he's only been fined $240.
Mary Lou Teiher from Toronto Animal Services assured those of us who were concerned by saying "He's obviously had a stressful time. He's been separated from his family... [But] he's been eating. He's obviously not too upset." Adding a warning to potential owners of prohibited animals, saying: "They have specific exercise needs, dietary needs, and of course, emotional needs," she said. "If you're thinking about wading into the territory of having a prohibited pet, just don't do it."