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Contribution to Book
A Monkey in the Middle: Reflections on Darwin the Macaque and the (R)evolution of Wild Animals in Canadian Common Law
Canadian perspectives on animals and the law (2015)
  • Mary J. Shariff, PhD, University of Manitoba School of Law
Abstract
In December 2012, a Japanese macaque was observed wandering around a Toronto Ikea parking lot sporting a double-breasted shearling coat and diaper. Darwin, also known as the Ikea Monkey, became an instant media sensation; his story and image making headlines around the world with people wanting to know where he came from, who owned him and even whether they too could have a monkey. 

 The purpose of this chapter is to explore how Canadian common law currently constructs the concept of “wild” animal in Canada, particularly from the viewpoint of the exotic companion animal. The discussion begins with the tale of Darwin and a review of Nakhudav Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary 2013 ONSC 5761 – the case that arose after he was apprehended by Toronto Animal Services (TAS) and given to a primate sanctuary. Nakhuda is presented as an illustrative platform from which to elicit themes, arguments and ideas regarding the legal classification of the exotic companion animal as “wild” and therefore res nullius (i.e. a thing owned by no one) and available to be owned by anyone who reduces the animal into possession.

 









Keywords
  • ferae naturae,
  • mansuetae naturae,
  • domitae naturae,
  • common law,
  • Darwin,
  • monkeys,
  • exotic pets,
  • wild,
  • domestic,
  • tame,
  • Nakhuda,
  • scienter,
  • rule of capture,
  • qualified possession,
  • res nullius
Publication Date
2015
Editor
Vaughan Black; Peter Sankoff; Katie Sykes
Publisher
Irwin Law
Citation Information
Mary J. Shariff. "A Monkey in the Middle: Reflections on Darwin the Macaque and the (R)evolution of Wild Animals in Canadian Common Law" Canadian perspectives on animals and the law (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mary_shariff/31/