Media Releases

Animal Justice Applauds ‘IKEA Monkey’ Decision

Animal Justice Canada applauds Ontario Superior Court Justice M.E. Vallee’s decision to keep Darwin the ‘IKEA Monkey’ at the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario instead of returning him to a private owner.

“Wild animals are not pets. There has been success in amending the City of Toronto Animal Bylaws to allow for the seizure of prohibited animals to prevent this from happening again, but Darwin’s welfare was at issue. We are pleased to learn that he will remain at the sanctuary,” said Nicholas dePencier Wright, Executive Director of Animal Justice Canada.

“City bylaws prohibit exotic animals both for public safety and animal welfare. Rhesus Macaque’s like Darwin can carry deadly diseases without showing symptoms and become increasingly aggressive as they mature. They are wild animals that are not suitable for domestication. Darwin will do much better at the sanctuary than in a private home,” said Neva Novakovic of Animal Justice Canada.

A copy of the court decision can be read HERE.

In December 2012 Darwin the monkey escaped a double locked crate inside a locked car and was found roaming the parking garage of an IKEA furniture store wearing a pea coat and diaper. He was collected by Toronto Animal Services and later transferred to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.

Darwin, then called ‘IKEA monkey’, became an instant hit, first on Twitter and then in international media. His owner, Yasmin Nakhuda of Scarborough, took legal action to regain custody, arguing that Toronto Animal Services coerced her into surrendering the animal.

Animal Justice Canada is an incorporated Registered Charity dedicated to advancing public knowledge of animal practices and preventing the abuse and killing of animals through the enforcement of existing laws.

Tax deductible donations can be made on the website using credit card or PayPal at: or by contacting the organization to make alternative arrangements.