When we last saw Yasmin Nakhuda, the self-proclaimed “Monkey Mom” accused Toronto Animal Services of “unlawfully” taking her Japanese macaque Darwin while she was shopping at Ikea. Now, the custody battle has taken yet an uglier turn.
Two weeks ago, the Story Brook Farm Primate Sanctuary, Darwin’s current caretaker, claims Nakhuda abused Darwin through acts of strangulation, beating the monkey with a wooden spoon and plans for dental extraction. Nakhuda’s lawyer vehemently denies these accusations on behalf of his heartbroken client. “She holds him by the neck to keep him still or above water,” says lawyer Ted Charney. “[Story Brook founder Sherri] Delaney has extreme views about people owning a monkey. What the community considers normal pet handling, she considers abuse.”
Independent of her legal representation, Nakhuda has responded to the allegations on the digital front. No stranger to exploiting her home monkey videos to win over public opinion, Monkey Mom busted out the big guns this weekend with the tearjerking tribute video below titled “From the heart of Darwin,” backed by Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” Collins likely did not sign off on Nakhuda’s use of his Oscar-nominated ballad, but that’s the chance she’s got to take.
The court date has been set for January 31.