By Barbara Amiel - Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
Yasmin Nakhuda deserves one more chance with Darwin, writes Barbara Amiel
Personally speaking, I wouldn’t want a monkey for a pet although Darwin, the seven-month-old rhesus macaque captured Dec. 9 in a Toronto Ikea parking lot is appealing. Far more I might say than the live rat on the shoulder of a woman in Lake Worth, Fla., near where I lived once, who wore it every weekend. Unlike pet rats, pet monkeys are forbidden in Toronto. The city’s bylaws are numerous (183,000), with amendments electronically updated. If it’s chickens you want to raise or a tree cut down, the City of Toronto will say no or make it damn difficult.
Darwin has belonged to a Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda, a real estate lawyer, since he was six weeks old. She underestimated the opposable thumb primates share with us and so when her car was parked at a north Toronto Ikea, Darwin undid his crate, opened the vehicle door and went out. Along came Toronto’s famed animal control officers—famed in my experience for their total lack of empathy for animals—and took him away. Fair enough. You can’t leave a seven-month-old anything wandering about a parking lot in December, even though he did have his coat on. When Ms. Nakhuda came to claim him, she got a $240 fine and a form in which she signed away rights to Darwin. Big mistake. She claims they talked about criminal action and I am not entirely disbelieving. But when you lose a pet, you tend to lose a lot of other things including rationality. Continue…