Chris Brown forced to surrender monkey to California authorities

Chris Brown has been forced to surrender his pet capuchin monkey to authorities after failing to obtain a permit for the exotic animal.

The singer angered animal lovers last month (Dec17) when he posted a picture of his three-year-old daughter Royalty holding Fiji, a baby primate.

According to TMZ.com, several concerned members of the public notified officials at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who opened an investigation and found Chris did not have an exotic pet permit.

Authorities obtained a search warrant, but Chris voluntarily agreed to hand over the monkey before his home was raided.

His longtime lawyer Mark Geragos told the U.S. gossip site that he could not believe law enforcement officials had dealt with his client so harshly.

"As I leave my office in Downtown L.A. 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," he said.

Under California law, it is illegal to keep certain exotic species, including monkeys, poisonous snakes, lizards and other dangerous animals, without a permit.

If charged with the misdemeanour offence of having a restricted species without a permit, Chris could face a maximum of 6 months in jail. His case has reportedly been passed on to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office.

The Loyalty singer, 28, isn't the first pop star to get into a spot of monkey trouble, as in 2013 Justin Bieber's own pet capuchin, Mally, was seized by customs officials in Munich, Germany after he failed to produce vaccination and import papers.

Justin eventually decided to give up ownership of his pet, leaving the primate to start a new life at a German animal park.

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