The saga of Justin Bieber’s almost star-crossed separation from his pet monkey continues. A German campaign to prevent the teen from claiming his capuchin is mobilizing, according to reports.
To recap, the singer flew from L.A to Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss airport for a Believe tour concert on March 28 with his new pet monkey Mally, named after the producer who gave it to him as a birthday present.
However, the monkey was taken away from Bieber by Munich custom’s officials after the pop star failed to produce necessary travel and health documents.
The now 15-week-old baby primate has been quarantined in a Munich animal shelter ever since.
Karl Heinz Joachim, 64, director of the animal shelter where Mally is currently being quarantined and cared for, told Mail Online:
“Justin Bieber has won an extension because the four week limit on confiscated animals only applies if the owner does not get in touch.”
“His management team had been in touch and indicated that they want the monkey back which means they now have as much time as they need to get the paperwork ready.”
However, the course of Bieber and Mally’s soft focus reunion may not be quite as simple as that.
In addition to Joachim’s public urging to the singer “to do the decent thing and let the monkey be free for adoption,” a highly vocal, potentially disastrous PR incident is mounting from numerous animal welfare groups who insist the teen superstar should not be allowed to reclaim Mally.
According to Austrian Times, these experts claim Mally was separated from his mother at nine weeks when the minimum age for removal is a year. This, plus the quarantining, left the monkey “traumatized” says Joachim.
The shelter director also said Mally repeatedly calls out for its family members and — at first — would only eat after it was given a cuddly toy. Joachim insists a more appropriate placement for the monkey would be among its own kind so that it can develop normally both physically and psychologically.
“A baby monkey is not something suitable to be on a world tour even if he is travelling by private jet,” he added.
Other animal welfare groups are adamant that Mally shouldn’t be returned to Bieber’s care.
Wolfgang Schröder, president of the German Animal Protection Society, says the teen star should apologize to his 37 million plus followers on Twitter and Facebook (52 million) for attempting to bring the monkey into Germany and promise to do more for animal welfare in the future.
“Bieber must face up to his responsibility, also as a role model for many young people,” said Schröder. “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.”
Animal Public, another animal welfare group, unequivocally accused the teen star of “animal cruelty,” while Debbie Leahy from the US Humane Society, said:
In addition, the Royal Society for prevention of cruelty to animals (RSPCA) has said the recent quarantining of the capuchin highlights the problems of keeping these “highly social, intelligent animals” as pets.
Dr. Ros Clubb, senior scientist for the RSPCA, said:
“Many people see monkeys like capuchins and marmosets as small and easy to keep but this is far from the truth – they are very hard to look after and totally unsuitable as pets. They can also be dangerous.”
Dr Clubb added that it would be “totally unacceptable” if media reports alleging the monkey was taken from its mother a very young age were true.
Austrian Times reports that the animal experts have been further outraged by revelations that under California (where Bieber is currently based) and Ontario law (his native state in Canada), it would be illegal for the 19-year-old to own a capuchin monkey as a private person.
If, and when, Bieber or his representatives arrives in Germany to claim Mally from the Munich shelter, it’s possible a sizable animal welfare protest will be there to greet them. Joachim insists the longer the wait extends, the longer the capuchin will suffer as he will be kept in a cage for the duration.
In the weeks ahead, it remains to be seen whether the campaign to prevent the teen singer from taking his monkey out of the country will be successful in their attempts to apply pressure on German authorities.
Joachim, who is backing the campaign, says that if the pop star refuses to allow the monkey to be adopted by appropriate organizations, then it is the Bavarian environment ministry who will have the final word. As yet, the Ministry has so made no comment.
“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,” said Joachim.
It is believed Bieber still faces a fine of up to 50,000 euros for illegally bringing a monkey into Germany, even if he is allowed to keep Mally.
The singer is currently locked into his extensive 125-date Believe world tour which ends August 10 in Atlanta.