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Celebrity Rapper Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown, commonly known as Swae Lee, has had his ‘pet’ monkey taken from his house by Californian authorities.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife took action following pressure from animal-rights organization PETA. The state does not prohibit prohibits the possession of exotic animals such as monkeys to be domesticated as ‘pets’.
It is reported that the animal will likely go to an accredited facility to be looked after, and won’t be returning to Lee’s house.
Animal-rights organization, PETA, said: “The cruel pet trade tears baby monkeys away from their mothers and sells them to novelty seekers, who are wholly unequipped to meet their complex needs. PETA commends California wildlife officials for acting on our complaint by seizing a monkey from Swae Lee, and we hope this animal will now be sent to an accredited facility, where he or she will never again be used as a rapper’s sidekick or social media fodder.
“Exotic animals kept as ‘pets’ are often bred in captivity by criminal dealers, torn away from their mothers as babies, sold to anyone with a big enough bank account, denied any chance at a natural life, and forced to do whatever their ‘owner’ chooses for a few social media ‘likes’.”
‘This poor baby’
Animal advocates spoke out on social media against the treatment of the spider monkey, after Lee’s friend posted a video of the animal dressed in a diaper and tiger costume.
Instagram user, Jazzyxoxo13, said: “This poor baby belongs with his mother and obviously does not like being dressed up I can’t imagine the amount of stress that he’s under there [are] better things to do with your money.”
PETA added: “We encourage anyone who sees exotic animals being used in this way on social media to forward the evidence to authorities and to PETA, as many animal advocates did in these two cases.”