4 Apr 2013

Justin Bieber ‘should have monkey taken away’ – charity

A German animal shelter is calling for pop brat Justin Bieber to lose custody of his pet monkey which was confiscated at Munich airport last week.

The teenage heart-throb sneaked his pet capuchin named Mally onto his private jet last week as he flew from Los Angeles to Europe.

But when he landed at Munich airport officials seized the primate and put it in quarantine because the singer did not have permission to bring it into the country.

Bieber has been given one month to produce the necessary paper work to Munich officials if he wants to be reunited with the animal. But sanctuary officials at Tierschutzverein say the baby white-shoulder capuchin will end up as a “living mascot to the superstar” and should not be handed over.

A statement said: “Mally is around 14 weeks old, she was too young when she was taken away from her mother. Animal welfare organisations do not want to see infant monkeys misused.

“There are several organisations which specialise in caring for primates which can take care of Mally and ensure she is looked after so that she can form a social community with her own kind.

‘He should apologise’

“We also would expect him to apologise and use his popularity to raise awareness about animal welfare in the future.”

Despite his protestation, Bieber is a role model to millions of young people, his action have been criticised by animal welfare groups who say he has failed to realise the consequence of his actions.

PETA Germany told Channel 4 News: “Mally is being treated wonderfully well. She is in excellent hands in a safe place, and she’ll be integrated with other monkeys so that she can receive the social interaction vital to her well-being and psychological growth.

“Young people often acquire animals without considering the impact or consequences, and Justin Bieber likely had no idea that Mally was a baby, taken away from her mother at way too young an age. We trust that he’ll do the right thing and pay for Mally to stay in Europe with people who are sensitive to, and familiar with, her unique needs.”

In Germany it is legal for people to have exotic pets despite conservationists calling for a ban on illegally imported wild animals. Many sanctuaries around the world house rejected exotic pets who become too difficult or dangerous to manage as they mature.

Bubbles, Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, is one such example. He was born in a biomedical laboratory, like Mally he taken from his mother at a very young age and sold. A Hollywood trainer bought the infant who then sold him to the late King of Pop.

By the time Bubbles was 4 years old he was “moonwalking” for the press, appearing in music videos, films and television programs. But by age seven he was deemed too strong to be around people and ended up at California’s animal compound before being moved to the Center for Great Apes in 2005.

Bieber has now left Munich and is playing gigs elsewhere in Europe. Neither the singer nor his representatives have contacted the animal sanctuary where the capuchin is being held. Several zoos have offered to house Mally if Bieber returns home without him.

Officials at Munich airport say Bieber will be fined for illegally bringing the monkey into Germany it is not known how much he is expected to pay.