Ikea shoppers in Toronto got a bit of a surprise this Sunday when their walk through the Swedish furniture chain's parking chain was interrupted by a small monkey that had gotten loose in the the ramp. And it wasn't just some plain old regular monkey, either — this little primate was decked out in a diaper and a wool shearling coat.
According to bystanders, the monkey, since labeled by the internet as #IkeaMonkey, was running around in distress and making "monkey screams" as people attempted to catch it to keep it safe from oncoming cars. (This is how the Outbreak sequel begins, btw.) Says witness Bronwyn Page, "It was running between people. They were trying to call it towards them. It was really scared." Poor #IkeaMonkey!
People were then able to herd the monkey into an elevator bay where it waited until the arrival of animal control, who identified the its breed as the rhesus macaque. The animal was then taken into custody (presumably in tiny monkey handcuffs) where workers calmed its nerves with grapes until the owner — who had left the monkey caged in the car while he shopped at Ikea — eventually turned himself in and was charged a $200 fine for owning a prohibited animal. (In Toronto, it is illegal to keep a non-human primate in your home.)
Those of us concerned by the idea of someone leaving a monkey for hours in an unheated car in the middle of Canadian winter (like this owner did) can breath a sigh of relief — #IkeaMonkey will not be returned to its owner's custody, but instead will be moved to an animal sanctuary. No word has been released on whether or not it gets to keep the coat.
Toronto Ikea monkey a social media sensation [CBC News]