A monkey wearing a tan winter coat with shearling trim spotted in a Canadian Ikea store might sound like either the beginning of a bad joke or an attention-drawing publicity stunt.
Turns out, the scene caused at a Toronto Ikea Sunday involving a rhesus monkey first spotted wandering the store’s parking lot was the (illegal) pet of shoppers who have since been fined.
According to The Globe and Mail, the diaper-clad monkey escaped its owners’ car after unlocking its crate. Being directed inside by store employees and the police until animal services could arrive, the monkey caused quite a stir among customers:
Lisa Lin, an Aurora resident, had just arrived at Ikea, around Leslie St. and Highway 401, Sunday afternoon to make some returns and purchase Christmas cards when she noticed the activity. She immediately snapped a picture of the monkey and later posted it on Instagram.
“It was pretty surreal,” said Ms. Lin, 30. “I thought ‘Is that really a monkey?’ Who brings a monkey to Ikea?”
Bronwyn Page, a Toronto resident, was at Ikea buying a Christmas tree when she noticed the monkey. She said the small animal seemed nervous as it surrounded by a group of people, and made screeching noises.
She tweeted her pictures of the monkey, which instantly went viral on Twitter. Ms. Page received interview requests from media outlets across the city. Of her experience, she said: “I’m glad I took a picture. This day has taken a big turn. I didn’t expect it.”