The former owner of Darwin, the monkey who got loose at a North York Ikea, has filed a lawsuit to have her pet returned to her.
 
Toronto Animal Services seized Darwin during the incident on Sunday and turned him over to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ont.

Yasmin Nakhuda’s lawsuit – which names Story Book Farm and its president Sherri Delaney – claims animal control had no right to do so and that the sanctuary is exploiting the monkey.

“Now they’re prominently displaying Darwin on the front of their homepage … and they’re using [their] Facebook pages to raise donations,” said Nakhuda’s lawyer Ted Charney.

“In the meantime, my client has not had any access to see her pet.”

Nakhuda, a Toronto real-estate lawyer, has said she would relocate to somewhere it’s legal to own a monkey.

“I’m very upset because all I see here is the sanctuary is using him simply to make money,” she said. “Their website says ‘Dollars for Darwin.’ I think they really mean ‘Darwin for Dollars.’”

The custody case will be heard in the Superior Court of Justice in Oshawa on Thursday.

Darwin, a seven-month-old rhesus macaque, escaped from a crate in Nakhuda’s car while she shopped at the Ikea at Sheppard Avenue East and Leslie Street.

Nakhuda was fined $240 for owning an animal prohibited under city bylaws.