Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New at IKEA: monkey on the loose

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TORONTO -- Shoppers at an IKEA store in North Toronto weren't monkeying around when they reported a primate on the loose Sunday afternoon.

Customers spotted a monkey -- clad in a pint-sized shearling coat -- wandering around the store parking lot by itself around 3 p.m. The animal made its way through rows of parked cars and eventually ended up outside a set of store doors.

"It was just outside the store, just in a corner area where the monkey had nowhere to go, but it was pretty scared," said Staff Sgt. Ed Dzingala.

IKEA staff managed to lure the primate into a corner before calling police, who in turn contacted the city's animal services department, said Dzingala.

The monkey -- who was reportedly wearing a diaper as well -- never actually made it inside the store and was picked up by animal services officers within half an hour.

The animal's owner contacted police later in the day and was reunited with their pet, Dzingala said.

"Apparently the monkey, described as a smart monkey, let itself out of its crate," he said.

"It was in a parked car in the lot, and opened up the door and went for a walk."

Word of the monkey's excursion at IKEA sparked a flurry of comments on Twitter as shoppers posted pictures of the primate outside the store.

The incident also inspired two parody Twitter accounts which took on the persona of the wandering monkey.

"It's gone viral, said Dzingala. "It's just an interesting story. Very interesting."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2012 A9

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