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Ikea monkey 'mom' to pay legal costs

The former owner of the Ikea monkey must pay $83,000 in costs to a primate sanctuary she sued, an Ontario court ordered Friday.

Yasmin Nakhuda, who has referred to herself as the monkey's "mom," lost Darwin the monkey after he escaped from her car in December 2012 at an Ikea store in Toronto.

Animal services nabbed the monkey and sent him to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont., who Nakhuda sued in an attempt to get Darwin back.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled in September that the monkey is a wild animal, and based on case law that means Nakhuda lost ownership the minute Darwin made his great escape.

The court released a decision on costs Friday, ordering Nakhuda to pay the sanctuary and its owner $83,000, which is in addition to her own legal costs.

Darwin himself is doing well, growing and thriving, the sanctuary reports. He is grooming one of the baboons and mimicking the vocalizations of two other Japanese macaques there, the sanctuary says on its website.

"Darwin is a cheeky little guy, that's for sure!" the sanctuary writes.

"He loves to play all day, and is always bouncing off the walls with excitement, especially when his favourite people come to visit! He loves to play tricks on you when you're not looking, like any adolescent!"

Cherries are his favourite food and he loves swimming in kiddie pools and playing, the sanctuary writes.

"Darwin loves Curious George!" it says on its website. "He has a Curious George doll whom he takes to his pool to give a bath, and grooms him and tries to get him to drink."

The costs decision revealed that several months before the trial the sanctuary offered to settle. The lawsuit would be dismissed, Nakhuda would pay the sanctuary $37,500 and give them the name of the exotic animal breeder who sold Darwin to her.

The Canadian Press

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