Toronto’s Viral IKEA Monkey Story Continues – “Monkey Mom” Acquires More Primates


mom and babyWritten by:  Heather Clemenceau

“Monkey Mom,” (sometimes known as Yasmin Nakhuda) is apparently still on a quest for substitute children.  She just made a ruthlessly strategic move to deprive her own former pet Darwin of any possible companionship at his potential new home at the former Northwood Zoo, which is currently for sale. While Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary (his home)  campaigns for funds to allow them to relocate to Northwood (and take over responsibility for Northwood’s macaques), Ms. Nakhuda went and purchased the two suitable companions for Darwin from Northwoods, and took them home to add to her own personal “safari park” in Kawartha Lakes.  Surprise!

Quite apart from the fact that Northwoods shouldn’t be selling exotic animals to private collectors, I’m honestly baffled why Nakhuda, who has two (human) children, persists in becoming a wanna-be Jane Goodall by acquiring the two juvenile Japanese macaques.

Here’s the smug, self-congratulatory Facebook announcement:

primates dont make good pets

Supporters of Story Book Farm will recall that in 2013, Nakhuda sent a petition to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and Brock Township, signed by a group of 116 petitioners, seemingly as part of a plan to  revoke the charitable status of the sanctuary.  Naturally, this empty rhetoric fell on deaf ears,  since just about the only way to have your charitable status revoked is if the charity itself doesn’t comply with CRA’s regulations,  they fail to file their returns,  or they ask to be de-registered.   In addition to that, most of the claims made in this petition were inflammatory and dangerously speculative. Accusations were flung – accusations that can now be applied directly to Nakhuda herself.

Nakhuda’s 2013 letter tried to suggest that:

“Story Book’s primary agenda is not the rescue of unwanted or neglected animals but to build a private zoo or collection of primates and other exotic animals.”

Of course, she ignores the fact that her own monkey was acquired by Story Book after she lost him in parking lot (a pretty fearful situation for a baby monkey) and he had to be rescued. I’m guessing that Nakhuda, who does not claim to be operating a charitable sanctuary, doesn’t see the irony in purchasing these two primates for her own collection.

“Story Book did not have appropriately-educated volunteers, was unqualified to take care of primates.”

Ducks on Nakhuda's "sanctuary"

Ducks at Nakhuda’s “pet heaven”

This, despite the fact that Story Book has a varied combination of volunteers and a Board of Directors with animal, veterinary, and direct primate experience. To the best of our knowledge, Ms.Nakhuda has no apparent animal training or specialist knowledge of primates other than how to accessorize them with stylish clothing and diapers. We know from the Nakhuda v. Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary verdict and Nakhuda’s own description of Darwin’s behaviour that she went to great lengths to keep him contained and herself from being injured by him. We also question whether the misguided monkey mom has an established enrichment program for these macaques – experienced keepers spend many hours figuring out ways to stimulate primates, both mentally and physically. Instead, she stated that she thought of him as her “child,” – “Japanese macaques, they have 93 per cent human DNA. So, he would act like a little child, and therefore when I call him my son I’m not mental.” First of all, primates don’t have human DNA – the point of divergence from our MRCA (most recent common ancestor) occurred approximately 29 million years ago.  While they share approximately 93% of our nucleotide homology,  they do not precisely share our human DNA. So, that pretty much demolishes Nakhuda’s argument that Darwin can ever be a “son.”  Secondly, most people possessing common sense know that humans are not a direct substitute for a primate’s own co-horts. Instead of being taken to shopping malls, Darwin needed

Deceased alpaca on Nakhuda's "sanctuary"

Nakhuda’s “Pet heaven” was not so heavenly for this deceased alpaca

to be safe and living with other macaques, not left alone in cars – there was nothing in his biology that could prepare him for this kind of experience.

Nakhuda’s actions in acquiring these two primates appears to be an attempt to throw a literal monkey wrench into the plan to finally integrate Darwin with suitable conspecifics who are close to him in age, apparently with the assumption that this will force the return of Darwin to her after all this time.  However,  Darwin continues to be a healthy and vibrant monkey who enjoys the company of the baboons and macaques who live nearby him, along with his human caretakers.

~Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into the mirror, he sees a monkey~

Malcolm de Chazal

The point of divergence from the most recent common ancestor of Homo Sapiens (us) and Japanese Macaques occurred approximately 29 mya (million years ago) Courtesy of

The point of divergence from the most recent common ancestor of Homo Sapiens (us) and Japanese Macaques occurred approximately 29 mya (million years ago) Courtesy of

macaque giving the finger


About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic plant-based eater, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

9 responses »

  1. Another amazing article Heather! Nothing this woman does surprises me, after all she was more than willing to leave her kids to be raised by a family member in order to move to get Darwin back as she stated in court!

  2. Darwin should never have been taken away from Nakhuda. I am happy she has two more monkys.
    Darwin should go back to Nakhuda, she has land he can play on not stuck in a cage that is too small for him

    • He wasn’t taken away – she lost him. The court ruled that TAS was righteous because he was an illegal animal. If the police confiscated your marijuana, you don’t get it back if you promise to move to a place where marijuana is legal. Correct?

      Darwin wouldn’t be stuck in a cage? You mean, like Tibet and Sumo are stuck in cages? In a drafty barn with no heating (to quote all the complaints about monkeys living at Story Book)? And no outdoor enclosure? Will they cut holes in the sides of their barn to let the monkeys have access to the outdoors?

      And look at those heat lamps – I do recall how all the whiners on your DDM page were aghast at the site of a heat lamp! And wait until Tibet and Sumo start flinging poop in their cages – someone will have to be engaged to clean it off regularly, along with the rust that comes when steel oxidizes.

      Seems all the criticisms about Story Book have come home to roost, haven’t they?

      And Chrissy, I can see from your comments that you think hitting an animal is normal behaviour. You should be ashamed of yourself, but I doubt you are.

  3. “Tibet and Sumo are stuck in cages? In a drafty barn with no heating ? And no outdoor enclosure?” – Heather Clemenceau is this an assumption or you know it because you have been there and seen it and are reporting the truth.

    • How do I know this? I can look at and read the Facebook page. These are the same accusations made of Story Book of course – that Darwin lived in a barn. Guess where Tibet and Sumo live? Do you think they come into the house? Let the snow monkeys out to have fun in the snow….

  4. Again you got it all wrong and it’s actually amusing watching u make a ass of yourself. Yasmin’ s new” kids on the block” have indoor outdoor huge enclosures. Oh BTW with heating and all. .gee can u believe it? Heather poor Heather u wear the sour grape look well.
    Keep it up we are enjoying it.

    • Actually, I’m laughing – we all are. Even the monkeys are laughing – promise me though – if you do go to visit them that you will give THEM the blue gloves to wear! Why aren’t the snow monkeys being allowed to play in the snow? And why does it look like Sumo has trouble walking? Why do his fingertips appear to be missing? All questions deserving of answers that will never come.

      I’m amazed at all the different IPs you have to use to keep spamming me Elizabeth. You must have to drive all over the GTA to use other people’s computers just so that I can add them to my spam blocker. BTW, did you see this site? Wasn’t this the strange man who was in court (later to be thrown out for making wild outbusts right outside the security area of the courthouse)? I mean, how smart was THAT – making threats directly outside the security desk in a courthouse…… SMH. How many people have been thrown out of the IKEA monkey court proceedings (or were blocked by security from getting inside after break/lunch)? It seems like a badge of honour for the Darling Darwin Monkey group – get kicked out, then stand outside in the rain eating your lunch from a zip-lock bag whilst accusing us of being poor….

      I love the comments! They really did a good job of refuting the author’s points……such as they are.

      Here’s the first comment:

      “This piece entirely misses the point that Darwin is not Nakhuda’s “family member”. Darwin is a monkey, and monkeys need to remain with their mothers – their real, monkey mothers – for extended periods of time (for macaques like Darwin, maternal dependency can last for years). This has been demonstrated innumerable times, beginning with the grim maternal deprivation studies initiated by Harry Harlow in the 1950s. The author has stated that “by all accounts Nakhuda is a loving keeper” – what kind of “love” involves paying to have baby monkeys separated from their mothers so that they can be raised in a human household, which is known to be harmful to primates and ultimately dangerous to people?

      Story Book Farm is at fault – failing to see logic – in not agreeing to “care” for Darwin as Nakhuda suggests is necessary? By not changing his diapers three times a day? By not taking him on shopping trips? Who in their right mind would actually agree that these are the things that a monkey needs? No respected primatologist, animal welfare expert, or compassionate human being would or could agree with such an assessment.

      This article seems to be suggesting that wrapping this young monkey up in a sheepskin coat and bringing him along on a car journey was some sort of act of kindness. That teaching him to brush his teeth is proof of “good” ownership. It is, rather, suggestive of total delusion – that a monkey can be a substitute child; that it is acceptable to subject an undomesticated, social animal to the whims of an eccentric pet owner; that wanting it to become a member of one’s family can actually negate the inherent nature and needs of a monkey.

      It’s not possible or fair to intimate Nakhuda’s reasoning behind or intention in insisting that being her pet/substitute baby is what is best for Darwin, or for the very unfortunate two monkeys who are now in her possession. But what is clear, when considered from the perspective of what monkeys are like, how they behave, how they develop and what their biological needs are, is that no monkey belongs with her, or with any other pet owner, in any human household. Some things should take precedence over satisfying human desire.”

      And the second one:

      “You fail to mention several key facts. One is that she knowingly purchased an ‘illegal’ monkey and kept him in the city knowing he was ‘illegal’. She admitted to abuse him and hitting him on the head, sometimes while “brandishing” a wooden spoon. She admitted he had bitten her 12 year old son. Darwin received no vet care and was kept for hours in diapers.

      She tried to return him, he escaped from the car (or was let out of the car) TAS rescued him from a busy store parking lot, mid December by a major 16 lane highway. Nakhuda surrendered the animal as she knew she was in the wrong and didn’t want to jeopardise her law career. The surrender form was written in everyday English that a lay person, let alone a lawyer could read it. She was a lawyer.

      Nakhuda decided to sue and her supporters, with her knowledge, waged a vicious slanderous campaign of hate against one of the few sanctuaries who could take him. This involved threats of harm, damage and stalking, posting photos on the internet and even posting photos from inside the courthouse online. She lied several times in court; once how he was obtained. details still murky, tried to dump him, and had the mysterious Ayez come to show her how to discipline this less than 2 lb animal by choking him and hitting him across the head. She lied several times that the judge had to point out her lies. These activities are all illegal in the province of Ontario and I am quite sure even in every other province in Canada including BC. Her over inflated ego and sense of entitlement wasted taxpayers dollars when she knew she was in the wrong.

      All of the above are facts, admitted by Nakhuda, in court documents and/or posted online. She tried to co-opt some of the fanatical extremists right-to-own types from the USA as though the US is an ideal by which we should set our standards.

      Nakhuda has now, after all her illegal wrong doing, purchased 2 macaques from a private road side type zoo which was recently closed. A new campaign of vitriol, slander and unprovoked attacks have been launched by nakhuda once again in an attempt to smear anyone who dared to disagree with her and point out the facts during the trial. She reminds me of a spoiled brat who stamps her feet when she doesn’t get her one way and blames everyone else for her mistakes – or criminal activities in Nakhuda’s case.

      I am surprised she wasn’t admonished by the bar, though there are a still several complaints about her. You don’t get to do wrong, ignore or skirt the law, court the press for one of your “I want to be left alone” interviews all the while threatening and slandering someone because you don’t get your own way. Her neighbours are up in arms about this nonsense and there have been complaints about problems at her new property. They are keeping a close eye on her. What a horrible way to raise a child let alone an animal.

      She broke the law, admitted to abusing Darwin, beat him, neglected him, kept him tethered by the neck (all a huge no-no even in the monkey pet world) and continues to mock our system. When the cops bust you for possession of marijuana, you don’t get it back.

      Move on Nahkuda – you aren’t welcome and your 15 mins is long over. Go away and stay away from animals.”

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