[credit provider=”Twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/broniewyn/status/277864528950218753/photo/1″]
The reporter from Canada’s CTV television summed things up about as well as anyone could: “How many times has this happened to you – you head out to do a little shopping with your well-dressed pet monkey. Suddenly you and your tiny friend get separated.”He added, perhaps unnecessarily: “Actually, that’s never happened to you, or me, or most people. But it appears to have happened to someone today.”
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.
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.”
A witness, Bronwyn Page, told CTV that she saw bystanders try to pen in the terrified monkey and prevent it from running towards cars.
She concluded: “This is so bizarre. Like, why is a monkey at Ikea?”
It was Page who took the photographs which have since spread around Twitter and other social media.
— Bronwyn Iler Page (@broniewyn) December 9, 2012
The monkey was eventually captured and handed to Toronto Animal Services, which told the Globe and Mail that the creature was now less scared and was “good to go” should someone claim it.
The owner later turned himself. He was charged with owning a prohibited animal, a offence that carries a C$200 fine (£126). The monkey is expected to be sent to an animal sanctuary.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk