A weekend trip to Ikea can include everything from eating Swedish meatballs to buying bunk beds, plastic storage containers or a new lamp. What it doesn’t typically include is running into a monkey on the loose.
The tiny monkey was spotted Sunday afternoon by Toronto shoppers in the North York branch of the Sweden-based furniture and lifestyle retailer, Canada’s CBC news agency reported. In photographs posted to Twitter, the monkey, identified by authorities as a rhesus macaque, an Asian species of monkey, can be seen wearing a shearling coat and diaper.
Surprised shoppers who spotted the monkey among the cars and shopping carts alerted the store’s staff who cornered the animal until officials from the city’s Animal Services Department arrived on the scene.
“Our staff immediately went up there [top deck of the parking lot] and were able to have the monkey held safely until Animal Services came,” store manager Alvaro Carmona told ABCNews.com. “It was pretty quick that it happened.”
“The monkey was pretty much domesticated, as you can see in the pictures,” Carmona said. “The monkey was pretty cooperative so the staff just held him.”
Animal Control Officer David Behan told the Toronto Star the monkey was a 7-month-old primate who had escaped out of a car while his owners shopped inside the store. The owner, who has not been identified, turned himself into authorities but will not be charged with a crime
The image of a monkey in the midst of an Ikea parking lot quickly went viral, inspiring the hashtag used by Drummond, #ikeamonkey, it’s own Twitter handle, @IkeaMonkey, a meme of Photoshopped pictures and newsfeeds full of humorous tweets.
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” – panicked Ikea employee #ikeamonkey,” tweeted @annetdonahue.
“It is believed that #IkeaMonkey entered Ikea in august to buy a banana split at lunch counter and could not find it’s way out since then,” wrote @trapdinawrpool.
The Toronto Police Department and Toronto Animal Services Department did not immediately return requests for comment placed today by ABCNews.com.