Monkey Business | By Jessica Asgarpour

Darwin broke barriers and defied all odds. By exploring new territories Darwin was the first of his kind to observe a unique environment.He was misunderstood at first, but now it is safe to say he is loved by all…. after all, who wouldn’t love a rhesus monkey in a shearling coat?

If you’re living under a rock, the Darwin I’m talking about isn’t the same Darwin you’ve learned about in your biology classes.  Darwin is a rhesus monkey who, on December 9th, escaped from his cage and owner’s car into Ikea’s parking lot looking for his owner. He was captured and taken to a sanctuary where he is currently staying. His owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, is still fighting for her right to keep Darwin in her custody.

So the question is, where does Darwin belong? The state believes Darwin belongs in the wild with other monkeys. However, most Canadians are rooting for Nakhuda to get custody of Darwin and bring him back home.

In the meantime, Darwin has created a frenzy of memes, Facebook statuses, Instagram photos, tweets, and publicity for IKEA . Darwin even managed to top the fashion blogs of 2012!

Although many find this humorous, the Nakhuda family are saddened by the loss of a family member. As Yasmin’s husband states “Darwin is not a dog, he’s not a cat, he’s not a lizard, he’s 93% human DNA… How would you feel to see your child behind a cage and be with him outside the cage?”

One cannot say whether Darwin will enjoy or thrive in an environment with fellow monkeys after being raised by humans since the age of 6 months. As we are a different species, we cannot predict what is best for Darwin. Therefore, I propose we let Darwin choose. One of the state’s main concerns is that Darwin may endanger the family as he becomes older. However, Nakhuda realizes these potential consequences and is still willing to take on the responsibility of raising him. If the state’s other concern is Darwin’s well being, then Darwin should be the one who has to choose where he is well and happy.

Let’s give this show a twist ending and let Darwin choose.

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