Exactly one year ago, the Ikea Monkey—the Japanese macaque found wandering the parking lot of a Toronto Ikea wearing a shearling coat—was brought to the Story Brook Farm Primate Sanctuary in Ontario.
Where is he now?
Now 19 months old, Darwin is still at the sanctuary and "learning how to be a monkey again."
Izzy Hirji, who is a member of the Sanctuary's board of directors, tells The Toronto Star that Darwin is a "cheeky little guy" who was "lacking in confidence and unsure how to act around other monkeys" when he arrived.
He continued, "Through being able to see and interact with the other guys, he's growing into a healthy, confident adolescent." Here is a NSFW picture of what Darwin looks like now (NSFW because he is naked! No shearling coat!)
Though he no longer wears his dapper little coat, Darwin does have a Curious George stuffed monkey that he gives bathes to and enjoys playing on a swing, fire pole, slide and in a kiddie pool. Which is all pretty darn cute.
Here's the downer portion of the update: Because of Darwin's domestic upbringing (as well as his former owner's ongoing lawsuit), he is not able to interact monkey-to-monkey with any of the other monkeys at the sanctuary.
"Of course, we would love to have a partner for him to interact with," Hirji explains, though he notes that it may be too late. Now that said, as Anderson Cooper reported on CNN earlier this year, Darwin has bonded through the mesh cage with a baboon "girlfriend" named Sweet Pea.
So there is a silver lining of cuteness to the depressing-ness of his isolation.
Still, the cons probably weren't worth the pro of seeing a monkey in a shearling coat.