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Justin Bieber's monkey to become German property

The Associated Press, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 12:48am (PDT)
  • BERLIN (AP) -- Justin Bieber's pet monkey is now the property of Germany.

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    Mally the Monkey was seized by German customs on March 28 when Bieber failed to produce required vaccination and import papers for the animal after landing in Munich for a European tour. He had until midnight Friday to produce those documents.

    After offices opened following a holiday weekend, customs spokesman Thomas Meister said that officials had received no documents. He said the customs authority issued an order later Tuesday formally transferring ownership of the animal to the German state.

    Bieber, 19, has six weeks to contest the decision if he wants to do so. Germany's Federal Agency for Nature Conservation said the monkey would be sent to a zoo somewhere in Germany, but officials declined to say exactly where to avoid security problems.

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    Mally, a capuchin monkey, has been cared for at Munich's animal shelter since being taken into quarantine. The shelter's manager says Mally, who is now 20 weeks old, has fared well and gained weight in its care.

    The shelter has criticized Bieber for keeping such a young monkey as a pet, saying it shouldn't have been taken away from its mother until it was a year old. Experts say capuchin monkeys also need to be kept in groups as they are very sociable animals.

    German authorities now hope to reclaim the cost of Mally's upkeep at the Munich shelter over the past two months, including care, food and vet visits.

    Meister said a bill would be prepared and sent to Bieber. He put the cost at several thousand euros (dollars) but said authorities would not detail the specific amount.

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