TORONTO — The baby monkey found wandering outside a Toronto Ikea store this weekend was so attached to his owner he’d have panic attacks whenever she was out of sight, a woman who considered him part of her family said Tuesday.
Yasmin Nakhuda said she’s concerned about the tiny primate’s well-being and is consulting a lawyer to see if she can regain custody of the “pet” she called Darwin.
However, the head of the monkey sanctuary Darwin was sent to by Toronto Animal Services on Monday said the mischievous simian was adjusting well to his new home.
“He’s not mourning his human mother at all,” said Sherri Delaney of the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont., about 100 kilometres northeast of Toronto.
“He is not showing signs of stress — signs of stress might appear in the form of his hiding or huddled in a ball, whimpering,” she said during one of her numerous media interviews Tuesday.
“He’s not doing that. He’s happy.”
Delaney said she intends to call Nakhuda and update her on Darwin’s condition once she gets “five minutes” of free time. But Delaney vowed the sanctuary would fight any potential legal challenges over Darwin.
Nakhuda said she initially tried to return the monkey to the breeder who supplied him, but changed her mind after hearing his heartbroken cries.
After that, she said the monkey was near her at all times, including while she slept and showered.
“At the beginning, I was told that was the best for him because generally, monkeys live off the back of the mom,” she said.
“He always had to be within my view.”