A baby monkey is in the care of Toronto Animal Services after spending a stressful Sunday afternoon at a North York Ikea store.

The creature’s owner came forward Sunday evening after social media lit up with reports of a monkey darting around an Ikea store in a fancy winter coat. He told police the animal escaped after opening up both a crate and a car door to go for a walk.

Bystander Bronwyn Page said she spotted the monkey outside, in the store’s upper parking lot.

“I was in elevator going down and there was a crowd of people and then I saw the monkey,” Page told CP24. “It was wearing a coat and a diaper. It started darting all over the place. It was scared, it was screaming.”

Page said the monkey was eventually cornered inside the store.

Police with 33 Division later confirmed the monkey is now in the care of animal services. They said it is illegal to keep a monkey as a pet in Toronto.

Animal services told CTV the creature is a male Rhesus Macaque Monkey that is just seven months old.

While police did not lay charges, animal services fined the owner $240 for having a prohibited animal. The monkey has also been signed over to their care, where he will remain for the time being.

Animal services said the monkey is stressed from the experience, but in good health.

The incident lit up social media sites Sunday, with an “Ikea Monkey” Facebook page materializing and at least two separate ‘Ikea monkey’ accounts springing up on Twitter. The hash tag “ikeamonkey” was also trending on Twitter in Toronto while “Toronto Ikea” was trending across Canada.

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