The former owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, denies this through her lawyer. I will say that the sorts of abuse described are, sadly, very common among primates held as pets. If the Story Book Farm primate shelter can document these claims, it goes without saying Darwin should be kept from her.
The statement asserts that Nakhuda, introduced to an illegal exotic animal dealer in Montreal last summer, said she was interested in obtaining a Japanese macaque such as Darwin, because of a YouTube video she saw, in which a tavern owner in Japan trained the monkeys to be servers.
Balking at the $10,000 price, the document claims, she allegedly took possession for a few days to see what it would be like to own a monkey — with the option to return Darwin. It also gave her time to secure the large sum of cash to complete the purchase.
The statement of defence alleges Nakhuda’s first few days of ownership didn’t go well, and Nakhuda wanted to return Darwin to the dealer. It’s further claimed that the dealer came to Nakhuda’s home to teach her how to “physically abuse Darwin to ensure that he compiled with her wishes.”
Once she learned this, the document alleges she decided to keep the monkey and paid the Montreal-based dealer, whose identity has not been revealed by Nakhuda, according to the sanctuary.
The statement of defence suggests that in the months after the purchase leading up to his December escape from a dog crate in a vehicle in the parking lot of the North York Ikea, Nakhuda, her husband and two kids abused the pint-sized primate. The alleged abuse includes strangulation, striking Darwin in the face and head and hitting him with a wooden spoon; forcing Darwin to live in a small dog crate; not changing his diaper for up to three days; failing to provide veterinary care and proper food; and permitting other family members to physically abuse Darwin.