Wednesday, 16. April 2014
08. 04. 13. - 18:00
Pressure is growing on German officials to keep the baby capuchin monkey away from its popstar owner Justin Bieber after he was given the animal as a 19th birthday present and then illegally transported it to Germany on board a private jet.
German customs officers seized the baby monkey and handed it over to a sanctuary where it was discovered the monkey was only 14 weeks old and probably had been separated from its mother at nine weeks – when in fact it should have remained with its parent for at least a year.
It was also revealed that in Germany it would have been illegal to keep the monkey without having at least five other similar monkeys as they are regarded as social animals that need the company of others of the same species.
And it has now emerged that in California and Ontario it would also be illegal for Bieber to own a capuchin monkey as a private person.
The seizure of the monkey has overshadowed the stars tour with growing numbers lining up to demand that the monkey be handed over to a proper zoo where can be kept with other things and develop normally.
Munich animal shelter boss Karl Heinz Joachim, 64, where the money is being kept said that it was clearly too young to have been separated from its mother and could only be managed as long as it was kept with a stuffed toy that it seemed to have fixated upon and regarded as a surrogate mother.
He said that the monkey clearly seemed to be disorientated and that it should not be returned to the popstar. He said that the monkey should be with its biological mother and kept in an environment appropriate for its species, the society said in a statement.
Even if the popstar is allowed to have the monkey returned he still faces a fine of up to 50,000 euros for illegally bringing the monkey into the country and also have to pay the costs of the animals upkeep – expected to be a few hundred euros a week that includes the special baby food he needs.
Wolfgang Schröder, president of the German Animal Protection Society, said: "Bieber must face up to his responsibility, also as a role model for many young people. From the point of view of animal protection he should under no circumstances be allowed to keep the animal that was brought into the country illegally.
"We also expect him to use his major influence through Facebook (52 million likes) and Twitter (37 million followers) to apologize and to do more for animal welfare in the future."
Another animal welfare group called Animal Public went further. Spokeswoman Laura Zimprich said: "Mally is only 14 weeks old. Separating him from his mother and taking a living cuddly toy on tour can only be described as animal cruelty."
His tour organization team have contacted the shelter to enquire about the papers needed to retrieve Mally.
"Monkeys aren't domestic pets," said Zimprich. "Taking a capuchin monkey from fellow members of its species and raising it by hand isn't appropriate in conservation. The animal will develop serious behavioral disorders."
Joachim said Bieber has four weeks to submit the correct animal vaccination and conservation documents to get his pet back. And speaking yesterday (Friday) he backed the campaign to keep the monkey away from Bieber. He said: "A monkey and especially a baby monkey does not belong on a world tour as a fashion accessory for a pop star. It is madness. In fact it was madness to have given an animal like this as a pet in the first place. But sadly stupid things rarely go punished.
"If not, Mally will be passed on to a good caring facility that has experience with rearing young capuchin monkeys and ensures that the little, disoriented Mally grows into a healthy capuchin male capable of forming a social unit with his fellows," he added. "Ultimately it is his property but I am hoping that they will reconsider and if they don't reconsider then the final decision will me with the Bavarian environment ministry." Yet I was rolling chair
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