TORONTO -- Even a monkey knows not to go outside in Canada in December without its winter coat.
Shoppers outside a Toronto Ikea store Sunday were surprised to find a 7-month-old rhesus macaque monkey loose in the store’s parking lot decked out in a tan coat.
“At first, I didn’t know what kind of animal it was or what it was, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a monkey,’” Bronwyn Page told the Reuters news agency.
When the stunned shoppers realized the monkey was real, they tried to get it away from any possible dangers.
“All the people were trying to, like, call it towards them, but it was very scared,” Page told Reuters. “It was darting all over the place. They were trying to get it away from cars, and then it became clear to us that none of the people there were actually the owners.”
The bystanders were able to usher the monkey inside the store, where the authorities were then notified.
“This is so bizarre, like, why is there a monkey at Ikea?” asked Page. “Like, I never expected to see that, so I was pretty shocked.”
Toronto police told Reuters the monkey broke free from a crate inside a parked car in the lot and then found its way outside.
Toronto Animal Services took the monkey into its custody and told Reuters the owner has been charged with having a prohibited animal.
The monkey has been checked out and is in good health, according to Reuters.