Ricky Gervais donates $6K from guitar auction to Ikea monkey sanctuary

SUNDERLAND, Ont. -- A guitar donated by comedian Ricky Gervais to an Ontario primate sanctuary that houses the Ikea monkey has sold for nearly $6,000.

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Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, northeast of Toronto, has auctioned off the instrument on eBay.ca, with bidding ending Thursday night.

Sanctuary board member Daina Liepa says a United Kingdom man stayed up until 2 a.m. England time to ensure he had the winning bid.

Gervais, an outspoken animal rights advocate, used the guitar while filming the comedy "Special Correspondents" in Toronto last summer and donated it to the sanctuary.

The monkey, named Darwin, made interational headlines after being found wandering outside a Toronto Ikea store wearing a shearling coat in 2012.

He has been living at Story Book since a court placed him there three years ago.

Liepa says the money will go towards building housing for two new Rhesus macaque monkeys, Cody and Pugsley, that are "being retired" from a Canadian university where they were research subjects.

She says the winning bidder is Danny Young, a 36-year-old guitarist, who plans to make a video of himself playing the guitar with cutaways telling the story of the Ikea monkey and the sanctuary.

"I was already in talks with local animal welfare groups regarding a possible video raising awareness of illegal fox hunting activity, which I am very much against," Young said in an email with Liepa following the sale.

"So when Ricky posted the link to the eBay auction and the article that explained the story, I felt like I was really in a position to help."

The new monkeys are expected to be roommates with Darwin, who has lived alone since moving to Story Book.


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