Shoppers at Swedish furniture giant Ikea can often be forgiven for wondering about the purpose of many of its baffling range of products.
But spare a thought for Canadian shoppers, who were faced with a slightly strange sight beyond anything with a price tag: a small primate.
It [a monkey] is a very exotic choice for a pet. Common sense would say, get a dog.
The monkey, which was wearing a winter coat and a nappy, arrived at the Toronto store on Sunday and was first found in the car park, peeking out from behind a car.
Monkey goes shopping at Ikea
Christmas shopping turned bizarre at an Ikea store in Toronto, when a monkey wearing a woolen coat began touring the facility. Photo: AP
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the monkey's owners were shopping in the store at the time.
Shopper Stephanie Yim said that while the monkey did not appear scared, it occasionally cried out.
""It would start monkey-screaming. It seemed like it was screaming around for someone [it] knew. It was sad," she told CBC News.
Police said the monkey, a seven-month-old macaque named Darwin, unlocked his crate and the car door to walk around in the car park.
"It was pretty scared. It was a tame monkey. Nobody got hurt. The monkey was a little scared, that's all," Toronto Police Staff Sergeant Ed Dzingala told The Globe and Mail newspaper.
Darwin was seized from his owners, who face fines for keeping him illegally, and spent the night in the city's animal services holding centre.
Council staff are reported to be looking for a new home for Darwin, whose species can carry a type of herpes dangerous to humans.
“We're minimising [contact] because of stress to the animal and [to preserve] the safety of our people,” Mary Lou Leiher, program manger for partnerships and marketing for Animal Services said.
“He's not very happy right now. He's comfortable, but he's having a bad day.”
She added that there was "no chance" Darwin would be sent to a lab. Staff hope to have him sent to a sanctuary.
"It's a very exotic choice for a pet. Common sense would say, get a dog," she said.