Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

IKEA monkey saga drags on

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TORONTO -- The saga of the IKEA monkey appears to be far from over.

A Toronto woman who lost ownership of Darwin the monkey after he escaped from her car in December at an IKEA store in Toronto is taking her case to Ontario's highest court.

A judge ruled last month that Yasmin Nakhuda, who refers to herself as the monkey's "mom," could not get the monkey back, but her lawyers filed a notice of appeal this week.

Nakhuda is asking the Court of Appeal for Ontario to overturn the decision, order the monkey returned to her and order Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary to pay her legal bills.

Darwin was sent to the sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont., after animal services scooped him up at the IKEA.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Mary Vallee relied on a wild animal legal principle to decide the monkey should stay there. Even though Darwin wore clothing and slept in Nakhuda's bed, the macaque is still a wild animal, Vallee ruled.

Case law dictates that a person only owns a wild animal for as long as it is in their possession, so Vallee found the minute Darwin made his great IKEA escape, Nakhuda lost her ownership claim.

Nakhuda lists 10 grounds of appeal in the court document, arguing the judge erred when she found Darwin to be a wild animal and found none of the exceptions to the legal principle applied.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 12, 2013 A19

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