Monkey in furs loose in Ikea

According to the Guardian (and many other sources), a fur-clad monkey was found in the parking lot of an Ikea store in Toronto.

In an incident which would defy belief had it not been well witnessed and, more importantly, captured on Instagram, shoppers at an Ikea store in suburban Toronto were greeted on Sunday by the sight of a tiny, confused and seemingly lost pet monkey running round the entrance lobby. If this was not enough, said monkey was clad in a close-fitting, button-up sheepskin jacket and wearing a nappy.

Picture 3

Toronto police believe the animal was inside a cage in a car parked at the store in North York but somehow managed to free itself. “It was pretty scared. It was a tame monkey,” Staff Sergeant Ed Dzingala was quoted as saying by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

“Nobody got hurt. The monkey was a little scared, that’s all.”

The paper quoted a Toronto city spokesman as saying the creature appeared to be a rhesus macaque. These are not permitted as pets in Ontario, thus generating the Globe and Mail’s headline: “Stylish but illegal monkey found roaming Toronto Ikea.”

Picture 4

The owners have since come forward to identify themselves, and have been fined for possessing an illegal animal.

Here’s a news report:

Monkeys are never good pets, but at least this one was stylishly attired.  DO NOT try this at home! (BTW, my dad had a squirrel monkey named Chippy when he was a kid.)


  1. Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Well now we know. Monkeys are always funny AND adorable!

    • Frank
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      At least this animal IS a monkey. Too often in the popular media, the word “monkey” is applied to chimpanzees.

      • Buzz
        Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Claiming that apes are not monkeys is biologically incoherent.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      The only “domestic” monkey that I’ve ever had contact with – kept by the camp boss on an oil rig in Africa – was adorable and funny. Until the second egg-cup of beer. After which it took to biting the hand that fed it. Literally, not figuratively.
      I don’t think that it (I forget the gender) was terribly happy in it’s captivity. Which probably goes for most pets which aren’t from thoroughly domesticated species (i.e. cats, dogs, possibly some food animals such as pigs ; I remain to be convinced for birds).

  2. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Why you should not try this at home, allegedly:

    “Jonas Wahlstrom on Skansen aquarium [Skansen as a whole holds various animals; Wahlström is their go-to expert] think, after looking at a picture of the monkey, it is a macaque, possibly a Rhesus macaque.

    - It is generally objectionable to dress up the monkeys in clothing, hats and the like. So did people with the monkey Ola and it destroyed him, he says to” [ Swedish main newspaper on the IKEA story, through google translate & tweeking.]

    (Ola was norwegian-swedish chimp that had a tragic story as show animal.

  3. abandonwoo
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    One Sunday morning in 1978 the USS Albany, 6th Flt flagship, was tied to the pier in Barcelona waiting to receive newly-commissioned LCDR (R) Sen. Gary Hart, D Col, who was beginning to jockey for position in the 1984 Presidential race. A black limo came around the corner of the only street that terminated at the waterfront near the ship, a couple of hundred feet up the street from the brow where the OOD and the rest of that morning’s watch team, including me, waited for Hart to board.

    The limo stopped and Hart stepped out of the rear, just as a chimp wearing a red beret with a tassel, yellow shirt w/black vest, plaid green knickers and blue knee socks came scooting around the same corner on a pair of roller skates. That primate skated like an Ice Capades pro. Every time he came to a lamppost he sped up, grabbed it with one hand, twirled, and catapulted himself down the street like Voyager around Saturn.

    The couple who owned him was hot on his heels. He slowed down to let them get close a couple of times between poles over the next 1 – 2 minutes, before he finally took hold of a hand of each and let himself be led back past the ship’s brow to return uptown. The couple gave what-are-you-gonna-do? smiles and shrugs. Hart and all the rest of us stood still and greatly enjoyed the whole show.

  4. Bonzodog
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Adorable? Not the ones (Barbary Macaques) that tried to beat me up on Gibraltar. Evil sods they are!

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Stop carrying coconut macaroons in your pockets and you should be okay.

  5. Sian Evans
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A Japanese macaque in Toronto was probably looking for the Jacuzzi.

    • Marta
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      This sentence is like a line from a typing test I took in 10th grade: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

      • Miss May
        Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        A Japanese macaque in Toronto was probably looking for an x-rated adventure in the jacuzzi. There you have it! A new typing test.

  6. Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    According to the Toronto Star, the monkey’s name is Darwin, and he “is heading to a new home at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland about 100 kilometres north of Toronto.”

  7. Sian Evans
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh no, “The Feds can tell Ernest Hemingway’s cats what to do,” in Key West.

    Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 20:27:17 +0000 To:

  8. TnkAgn
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    They are launching a new line of products:

  9. Posted December 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you just hate it when your ride never shows up?

  10. Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    My first job after getting my B.Sc. was looking after 150 monkeys for Health & Welfare Canada. They definitely would not have made good pets, since they were quite capable of removing fingers with a bite. In addition, some carried a Herpes B virus that in monkeys causes cold sores, and in humans causes death. In my last week there I accidentally pricked myself with a contaminated needle, after giving a monkey an injection. Blood samples taken from both of us, and I awaited the results relatively unconcerned. Apparently the results would take 3 weeks to come in, while death would occur in 2.

    • Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Similar incident I had while working at an MSPCA. Bitten by a feral kitten, who was then quarantined. Two days later said kitten had a fever and was unable to walk without tipping over. Sadly kitten was euthanized and frozen, destined for testing in some far away lab. THREE WEEKS later, I called the lab and was told they had lost the body, and it was never tested. Had some good rabies nightmares after that.

  11. Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Monkeys can live and thrive in a wide range of habitats, however, to survive the Canadian winter they really do need a nice coat. (And that’s a very nice coat.)

  12. Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Cute monkey but hello, a fine? I hope it was a hefty one. Where did they buy this animal, and what will become of it now? Sorry I’m too freaking prickly right now to visit the news source.

    And Ikea, perfect. Home of animal abuse, greenwashing and illegal logging. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better tableau.

    • Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink


      According to the Toronto Star, the monkey “is heading to a new home at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland about 100 kilometres north of Toronto.”

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      The monkey’s name was Ingrid Svoornjord, and she was IKEA’s Regional kitchen designer. Thanks to this horrible mixup, If you want a kitchen from IKEA you’re on your own.

  13. Vaal
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    LOL. That’s my local IKEA. I miss all the fun.


  14. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    The Vancouver Sun has a photo series of Darwin in his new home.

    Cute little guy.

  15. Jim Mauch
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    It should have been a larger fine. A thousand US dollars should do the trick. Even though this animal was more than likely captive born a message should be sent that encouraging the marketing of exotic animals will not be tolerated.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      Why would a fine be levied in USD for a crime committed in a (Swedish-owned) store in Canada?

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        Especially as, that is only $987.20 in Canadian dollars today.

  16. Dominic
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Pardon my pedantry – are not all macaques fur clad?! :)

  17. Mateus
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    That monkey looks dapper.

  18. Miss May
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It would look adorable in a festive red pea coat.

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      I was thinking it should have its colors done. Tiny boots. . . .hats with feathers. . .a silk evening gown. . . .now I’ve gone all maternal.

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