I, Darwin: an oral history of the IKEA monkey

Mental Floss:

On December 9, 2012, shoppers expecting a traditional IKEA shopping excursion got something else. Sprinting between cars in the store’s adjacent two-level parking garage was a primate decked out in a tailored faux-shearling coat and a diaper. Barely a foot tall, the gimlet-eyed creature scanned the growing crowd around him looking for any sign of his keeper. Several of them snapped his photograph.

In less than an hour, animal services would arrive to collect him. In less than nine hours, he would become an international news story.

I remember when this happened in 2012 and thinking was a really weird story. This oral history shows it was even weirder than I imagined.



  • Mo

    I’ve never heard this story. Now I have to wonder when Nakhuda’s new monkey will finally grow strong and dangerous enough to show her how foolish and myopic she’s been.

    • If she’s been its handler all along, she’s probably safe. It’s just everyone else…

      • Mo

        Assuming no further daytime excursions gone wrong, no unfamiliar and potentially threatening visitors to her home, no opportunities for the animal to escape, and no moments of high emotion or confusion.

        This is a person who likely took part in illegal animal trafficking so she could acquire an exotic wild animal, and then was foolish enough to believe she could travel around with a monkey in public. I wouldn’t rely upon her too much for clear thinking.

        Add to that the fact that she’s socializing another monkey to be absolutely dependent upon someone like her. This has other potential consequences, too.

        https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/401/parent-trap?act=2

        • It sounds like the monkey will bond with her as if she’s its mother. She’s probably safe in any case. It’s everyone else that needs to worry.

          • Mo

            Exactly why she shouldn’t be allowed to keep one.

          • Oh, I totally agree. I’m just annoyed she’s the only one not in danger here.