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Ikea Monkey Trial: Yasmi Nakhuda, Darwin The Monkey's 'Mom,' Fights To Get Pet Back

Darwin Monkey

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 05/30/13 EDT Updated: 05/31/13 EDT

No more monkey business -- the battle for Darwin the Ikea Monkey is going to court.

Yasmin Nakhuda, who claims to be Darwin's "surrogate mother," has been fighting to have her pet returned ever since he was spotted wandering around the Toronto Ikea parking lot last December. Toronto Animal Services found Darwin -- bundled in a winter coat -- and sent him to a primate sanctuary in Ontario.

Nakhuda didn't speak to reporters Thursday when she entered the Oshawa, Ont., court, but her lawyer said he was "looking forward" to examining the animal service officials involved in Darwin's case, CTV News reported.

Darwin is, of course, not Nakhuda's child, making this a case over possession of personal property, rather than a custody battle.

Nakhuda maintains that those officers tricked her into surrendering Darwin after he escaped from his crate and wandered around the Toronto Ikea parking lot. The incident made Darwin an instant Internet star, complete with memes and Twitter accounts in his honor.

In January, the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, where Darwin was brought, alleged that the monkey's owners had strangled him, hit him with a wooden spoon, and planned to have his teeth removed.

Thursday morning, however, the Press reported that the sanctuary withdrew its allegations in an effort to keep the trial brief.

Nakhuda has said that if she gets Darwin back, she is willing to move her family to a jurisdiction where pet monkeys are allowed, according to CBC News.

The trial is set to continue through the last two days of May, and resume June 10 and 11.