You may have heard roughly a month ago about the plight of Justin Bieber and his pet capuchin monkey, Mally—or perhaps more accurately, just poor Mally’s plight. At the end of March, German customs officials seized the baby monkey when Justin attempted to bring it into the country without official permission. According to Tomas Meister, spokesman for the customs office at the Franz Josef Strauss Airport in Munich, “Justin Beiber brought his monkey to Germany, but had no official paperwork with him. We were forced to confiscate the animal.” Justin was charged a fine and slapped with the monkey’s quarantine bill; Mally, meanwhile, was eventually transferred to an animal shelter.
Does this strike anyone else as just a little bit heartless?
Maybe there’s more at play here, but from the outside, the whole situation looks like this:
– A successful (and subsequently spoiled) teen pop star spent what was probably quite a pretty sum on an exotic pet monkey.
– For some reason, he seems to have been unaware of the fact that in order to bring living creatures into other countries, you need to have proper documentation and permission to do so—or conversely, he was aware of this fact, but chose to ignore it and relied instead on his star power to get him what he wanted.
– Unsurprisingly, he ran into trouble trying to bring his pet into another country.
– And then, when the whole thing ended up being more complicated an issue than he wanted to deal with, he abandoned his pet in the country he brought it into—a place the poor monkey wouldn’t even be if Justin had just paid attention to the details of international travel in the first place.
Not so good, Justin.
For their part, Munich Tierschutverein seems to be trying to put everything in as positive a light as they can. Roberto Miono Coltro, a spokesperson for the animal shelter, stated, “Justin Bieber’s management contacted us and they will give up Mally. They are asking us [to find]… a good home for Mally.” However, Coltro added that the authorities still need official documentation from Justin’s manager, rather than just the emails that have been sent so far.
As for where Mally will end up, said Coltro, “We can only make a recommendation and we don’t want to send Mally to the zoo, because the zoos will only publicize him…. We want Mally in a rescue center or some organization for primates.” We can only hope that the monkey will find a new home with a kinder caretaker than his first one—and that no one will allow Justin Bieber to buy another pet, only to abandon it when he gets bored of it.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.