Chris Brown could potentially face jail time after having to give up his daughter’s pet monkey because he didn’t have a permit to keep it.
In December, the R&B singer caused controversy after buying a baby capuchin monkey named Fiji for his three-year-old daughter, Royalty. Fans and animal rights activists argued that capuchin monkeys weren’t suited as pets and belong in the wild.
TMZ now reports that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were notified and opened an investigation into Brown’s pet monkey.
The report states that Brown didn’t have a permit to own the exotic animal and that the star voluntarily surrendered the pet after authorities were granted a search warrant for the singer’s home.
California laws state that owners of restricted species like this type of monkey must apply for a special permit as the state does not allow residents to keep them as domestic pets.
According to law enforcement sources, Brown could be charged with a misdemeanour, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. The case has been turned over to the LA City Attorney.
Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, has told TMZ: “As I leave my office in Downtown LA and walk past people sleeping on the street on my way to defend people charged by the City Attorney with selling medical marijuana… now spending taxpayer money on investigating monkey business, this completes the circle on his absurdity.”
See photos and videos of Brown’s pet monkey below:
The RSPCA warn against keeping capuchins as pets, saying: “Capuchins, like other primates, don’t make good pets. In a home environment they become unhappy and can become aggressive.”
“They need the company of other capuchins and lots of space for exercise. These needs simply cannot be met in a home environment.”
“When kept as pets capuchins will often suffer from life-threatening and expensive health problems as they need a specialist diet to meet all of their nutritional needs.”