A rhesus monkey named Darwin who rose to internet fame last December after he was found roaming an Ikea parking lot in Toronto, Canada, may finally be reunited with his owner. In a trial to determine custody today, the animal sanctuary currently housing Darwin dropped abuse claims against his owner, the Edmonton Journal reports.
The dapper Darwin rose to international stardom when he was spotted roaming an upper-level parking lot of the Swedish superstore wearing a diaper and a miniature shearling coat. Customers snapped and posted photos of the bespoke simian, who had apparently escaped from his owner’s car. But then Toronto Animal Services picked Darwin up and transported him to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, where he’s been living for the past five months. It is illegal to own a monkey as a pet in Canada.
Darwin’s owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, set up a Facebook page to promote her cause and wrote a children’s book, Adventures of Darling Darwin: Monkey Mess, to help pay legal fees. This is the third time she gone to court in an attempt to reclaim her monkey. As CTV News reports, the case’s judge has emphasized that this is not an actual custody battle, since Darwin is not a child, but instead a matter of whether Nakhuda can reclaim her personal property.
The trial continues on Friday, before resuming on June 10.