Owner fined after monkey spotted at north Toronto Ikea
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 5:30PM EST Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 7:41AM EST
Officials say the owner of a monkey that was spotted roaming an Ikea parking lot in Toronto has come forward and is facing a single charge in connection with the incident.
Toronto police say the seven-month-old monkey escaped from its crate and managed to find his way outside of a parked car.
Dressed in a wool coat and wearing a diaper, the male monkey surprised shoppers at the busy Leslie Street and Highway 401 Ikea in North York.
Toronto resident Bronwyn Page was among the shoppers who caught a glimpse of the stylish monkey.
“We saw a crowd of people and a little animal and I was like ‘oh my gosh it’s a monkey,’” Page told Toronto.CTVNews.ca.
She said she first thought the monkey was fake, but quickly learned otherwise as the monkey began darting around the crowd and making screaming sounds.
“It was very bizarre to see a real live monkey there,” she said. “It was really small and just funny dressed in the coat.”
She said onlookers eventually managed to get the monkey inside and authorities were called to the scene at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Toronto Animal Services later confirmed to CTV Toronto’s Tom Podolec that the owner signed the monkey over to the organization and now faces a charge of having a prohibited animal.
The fine for the charge is $200, plus a $40 surcharge.
Animal services confirmed to Podolec that the monkey, of the rhesus macaque species, is in good health and is currently in the agency’s care.
News of the mysterious monkey quickly went viral with #Ikeamonkey trending on Twitter in Toronto while “Toronto Ikea” was trending across Canada.
A couple of @IkeaMonkey accounts also popped up on the social media site, amassing hundreds of followers.