BERLIN — German customs authorities said Tuesday that Justin Bieber’s monkey is going nowhere for now even though the singer has apparently asked that it be removed from an animal shelter where it is staying and be placed in a zoo.
Mally, a 17-week-old capuchin monkey, was seized by customs authorities March 28 when Bieber failed to produce the required papers after landing in Munich while on tour.
Judith Brettmeister, spokeswoman for the Munich Animal Protection League shelter, where Mally has been kept since then, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her office has since received two emails from a representative saying he was with Bieber’s management company.
Brettmeister said she could not confirm that the emails were really from the management company, “though they appear to be.” Bieber’s representative did not immediately respond to an email requesting confirmation.
Brettmeister said the first email asked how long Bieber had to provide the paperwork before the monkey would be euthanized. The Animal Protection League replied that animals aren’t euthanized in German shelters.
Then, in a second email seen by the AP, the shelter is thanked for its help and told: “Our team is looking into the idea of placing Mally at a zoo in Germany. Would you happen to have any recommendations for places that Mally would be safe and thrive?”
It continues: “Again, we are very concerned that Mally is safe and placed in the best possible residence.”
But customs spokesman Thomas Meister said that Mally will stay in the shelter until Bieber or someone with his power of attorney gets in touch with them directly.
Bieber has until May 17 to provide Mally’s paperwork, Meister said.
“If by May 17 there is nothing, then he loses ownership of the animal and it becomes the property of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he said.
If Bieber really does want to place the animal in a zoo, he is welcome to contact customs authorities and forfeit Mally at any time, but will likely have to pay costs associated with keeping the monkey so far and a fine, Meister said.