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Hopefully this doesn't get ugly. There's a custody battle brewing between the owner of the Ikea monkey that went viral this weekend and the authorities that seized him after he went looking for cheap Swedish furniture — but the owner says she'll give him up if he likes his new home at an animal shelter more.

A lot has happened since we first broke the IKEA monkey phenomenon on Sunday. Last we saw him, the authorities seized the pet and its owners, then unidentified, received a fine for owning an illegal animal. We've learned the monkey's name is Darwin. Yasmin Nakhuda is Darwin's owner and she told Canada's CBC News the story of how, exactly, she came to own him

A client who knew she loved exotic pets put her in touch with a man who offered to allow Nakhuda to babysit the monkey, which was apparently born in Montreal.


Nakhuda said she tried to return Darwin to the man, believing she was not able to properly care for him, but Darwin screamed the moment they were separated.

What could she do? The monkey loved her too much. Nakhuda told the Globe and Mail they "bonded." She told the Toronto Star it "was a babysitting experience that turned out into a fatal attraction and put me where I am." She couldn't just get rid of him! Nakhuda is now consulting with lawyers now to see if she can get him back.

She told CBC should would be willing to let him go forever if the sanctuary can prove they are a better mom than she is. "If the sanctuary is able to convince me … that they are doing a better job, then for sure. Because everything has to be what’s best for him," she said. 

What makes Nakhuda's story even more tragic is the video evidence of their bond. In this video, another of Darwin's stylish outfits is on display while he plays at his owner's office: 

We're seeing slight Justin Bieber influences, but the look fits Darwin better. (Justin, take note.)

And now one of Darwin brushing his teeth: 

Just like when he went shopping, Darwin is adorable because he thinks he's people. Let's just hope he gets the home he deserves. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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