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Ikea monkey will not be going home

Darwin the Ikea monkey will stay at a primate sanctuary for at least the next few months after the woman who describes herself as his mom lost a third bid to get him back.

The primate is at the centre of the hotly contested battle between Yasmin Nakhuda and the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, not a child custody fight, but rather one over personal property, a judge reminded everyone Friday.

Darwin has been at the sanctuary since he was scooped up by Toronto Animal Services following his adventure around an Ikea parking lot while decked out in a little shearling coat in mid-December. Nakhuda tried and failed to get him back from animal services that day. She alleges the bylaw officers tricked her into surrendering the monkey.

So she launched a civil action in court to get Darwin back, but as the trial likely won't be heard until the spring, even on an expedited basis, Nakhuda asked the court to let her have Darwin at least until the trial.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Michael Brown denied her interim bid Friday, just as he denied her similar bid in late December.

"I do not believe that any irreparable harm will occur to the plaintiff and her bond with Darwin or Darwin himself, so long as an early trial date can be set," Brown said. The case is expected to come to trial by May.

Nakhuda argued that a long separation until the trial will damage her bond with the little primate.

After Brown read his decision Nakhuda sat motionless for several minutes and emerged from the courthouse nearly an hour later with few words.

"You've just learned that loving is not enough to win a motion," she said while trying in vain to duck a crush of reporters outside the courthouse. "I will keep loving him. I don't know about fighting, but I will keep loving him."

She said people wouldn't understand how much she misses Darwin.

The Canadian Press


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