Jan 14, 2013

By Jane Brown

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The former owner of Darwin the monkey insists she did not physically abuse the animal which has garnered international notoriety.  Darwin became known around the world last month as the Ikea Monkey after he was discovered in Toronto’s Ikea parking lot wearing a diaper and a miniature faux shearling coat. Darwin’s handlers at the primate sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario say the monkey endured months of physical abuse at the hands of its owners, including strangulation and beatings with a wooden spoon.  But Yasmin Nakhuda says this is a complete misinterpretation of the way she trained the monkey.  “The breeder who gave me Darwin explained to me when a monkey’s biting, what you need to do is hold him by the neck, and that’s the neck grip.  So that’s just like female dogs and female cats, when they carry their little babies, they hold them by the skin behind their neck.  And when they hold them this way, the little one becomes still, and therefore, you can control them a little bit better.  And that is the neck grip that we’re talking about, that they call strangulation.  It’s really amazing how people can take things and twist things.”

Lawyers for the sanctuary filed a statement of defence on Thursday against Nakhuda.  She is fighting to get Darwin back.  None of the allegations has been proven in court.

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