More monkey business: who will triumph in the battle for Darwin the ‘Ikea monkey’? And will his ex owner go ape if it’s not her?

He's back! The monkey found wandering around the Toronto branch of Ikea last winter - wearing a rather stylish faux-shearling coat - is now the subject of a court battle as his former owner fights to win him back. We couldn't resist bringing you the latest newsflash on the pampered primate

It was a cold day in December. A bitter wind howled around the minimalist concrete walls of Ikea, Toronto.

All too familiar with the Canadian climate, the customers had wrapped up in their warmest clothes – including Darwin, the baby rhesus macaque who made worldwide headlines when he was found wandering around the store car park sporting a really rather delightful faux-shearling coat.

Since then, Darwin has been a resident of the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario. But his former owner, real-estate lawyer Yasmin Nakhuda, is battling the courts to get him back.

Pet primates are illegal in Toronto, but Nakhuda insists that keeping her and Darwin apart will only make the little monkey miserable.

On her ‘Darling Darwin Monkey’ Facebook page, Nakhuda has posted countless videos of her and Darwin in happier times – including one of her changing his nappy, in case you were wondering how it’s done – and a birthday message saying ‘your mommy misses you a lot and would have wanted to be there on this very special day’.

The judge presiding over the case was keen to point out that this isn’t a custody battle because, erm, well, a monkey isn’t a child, even if you do dress it up in cute little coats and nappies (and they are really, REALLY cute).

The final verdict should be in by 11 June. Until then, the monkey mayhem rages on.

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