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JUSTIN BIEBER - London Zoo Offers Baby Monkey a Home

Justin Bieber's pet monkey could be heading for the UK after the German animal shelter where he is being looked after said the pet had been offered a new home with other Capuchin monkeys by a British zoo.

Munich animal shelter boss Karl Heinz Joachim, 64, said: "I can confirm that the monkey is 14-weeks old and was apparently taken away from its mother when it was between nine and 10 weeks old. This is much too early. It would have not been allowed here but the rules must be different in America. The owner has four weeks to provide the paperwork - if not it will go to the zoo. We have been offered a new home for the little fellow by a zoo in the UK. I would prefer that. If Bieber gives up the animal or fails to claim it, It will not under any circumstances be allowed to go back into private hands.

"It's obvious that those who were looking after it should have known we could not get him to eat until we gave him the cuddly toy he was still clinging to when he was delivered to us and you can see in photographs of Bieber that the only way they manage to keep it under control was by using the cuddly toy. You can see pictures of him with two blonde girls and the cuddly toy. This obviously acts as a kind of surrogate parent, and as long as he can hold onto the toy he feels more secure and then started eating okay. But he is clearly traumatised are being taken away from his family group."

He added that as well as being separated from the mother it should be illegal to keep any monkeys in isolation from others of the same species and added that in his opinion nobody that possessed a Capuchin monkey should have less than five others for their mental well-being.

Vet and animal expert Grabenwoeger confirmed that at 14 weeks it is still classified as a baby and won't be an adult until it reaches the age of around eight. In captivity they typically live until the age of around 45, and early experiences with its mother and others in the family group help the baby monkeys to learn correct behaviour and sets them up for a stable development.

Bieber flew into the airport in Munich with the monkey on board his private jet without any of the necessary paperwork and it was confiscated by customs officials on Thursday last week.

A spokesman said that the monkey had been quarantined because it did not have the necessary paperwork specifying that it was free of diseases including rabies and in addition there was no paperwork to prove the origins of the monkey which is a protected species and needs to travel with certification that it was born in captivity and legally acquired and not for example as a result of being smuggled from its South American homeland.

Karl Heinz Joachim added that the way the monkey had been treated up until now being taken through a noisy airport and onto a jet that would have probably have left it terrified had shocked him but he added: "It happened and we are where we are now. What matters is what is best for the monkey in the future. I don't know what the laws are in America but I am surprised it was allowed to separate the mother and baby so young."

A spokesman for the Munich customs office Thomas Meister confirmed that the monkey had been handed over to the quarantine station and that so far the necessary paperwork had not been provided so that they can authorise the monkey be released. But he said there was no question that Bieber face prosecution as it was purely a question of the fact the missing paperwork meant that the monkey was a potential health risk and that as long as this would be provided in theory the monkey should be handed back to the star.

Karl Heinz Joachim added that as long as the cuddly toy was present the monkey was managing: "The monkey seems to particularly like sweet things. Mainly that means apples, raisins and milk pudding. It is obvious it is used to human company. It keeps calling a lot for company without its cuddly toy it won't eat at all."

German Herald

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