Customers at a Canadian Ikea store were stunned to discover a tiny monkey - complete with fur-lined winter coat - roaming around the entrance.
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Ikea's bargain home furnishings attract customers from far and wide - and now its appeal has spread to the animal kingdom.
Toronto shoppers spotted the tiny seven-month old macaque in the car park of the store wearing a stylish coat and nappy. The owners had left their pet primate in the car as they went shopping, but the monkey managed to escape.
Toronto resident Bronwyn Page [see video] was among the shoppers who caught a glimpse of the monkey and was among the first to take a picture and tweet the unusual sighting.
"There was a group of people around and a little thing on the ground... At first I didn't know what kind of animal it was or what it was and I was like 'oh my gosh, that's a monkey'," she said.
At first, she thought it was a fake, but soon realised he was the genuine article when the monkey started to panic and run around screaming.
"This is so bizarre. Like, why is there a monkey at Ikea?" added Ms Page. "I never expected to see that. I was pretty shocked."
The story went viral online, with the hashtag #Ikeamonkey trending on Twitter, and the account @IKEAmonkey was set up on the micro-blogging site on behalf of the monkey.
An Ikea spokesperson told CBC News that the monkey was first spotted in the parking lot of the Ikea store near Highway 401 on Sunday.
The authorities were contacted and the monkey was confined until animal services arrived at around 3pm.
Toronto Police Sergeant Ed Dzingala said that the owners later came forward to claim the animal, adding: "It's a smart monkey."
Toronto Animal Services said the owners have signed the rhesus macaque monkey over to the organisation and faces a single charge of having a prohibited animal. The agency said the monkey is in good health and is now under its care.
Photo courtesy of Instagram user @dzd_liza
16 November 2012
11 April 2012