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Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 4:56pm

Justin Bieber's monkey starts new life in German zoo

CNN
Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 8:39pm

Justin Bieber's capuchin monkey -- famously seized by German customs officials after the singer brought it on tour without the right paperwork -- is now out of quarantine and about to join a new "family" in a German zoo.

The young monkey, Mally, was taken to a Munich animal shelter after he was confiscated at the end of March as Bieber arrived in Germany on tour.

But the capuchin has now been transferred to the Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen, near Hanover in northern Germany, to start life with his new family -- six other capuchin monkeys.

Mally was transferred Wednesday to the zoo's new monkey area, consisting of a tree-covered island -- dubbed "Mally-bu" -- surrounded by a moat and equipped with a house for its seven residents.

He's the first to arrive on the island and the others will be introduced gradually, if all goes according to plan, zoo spokeswoman Juliane Gunkel told CNN.

The other capuchins are three males and three females, one of whom was born around the same time as Mally and is known as Molly, Gunkel said.

While in quarantine, for several weeks at the animal shelter and another month at the zoo, the monkey clung to a stuffed toy thought to have been given to him by Bieber.

But the zoo is confident he'll adjust to his new life quickly, Gunkel said. "He is very clever and he's the right age, not too old" to fit in, she said.

Bieber had until May 7 to present the right paperwork to reclaim his pet -- who's now 27 weeks old and weighs a little less than three pounds -- but failed to do so, Gunkel said.

As a result, Mally is now the property of the German government, and the Serengeti Park is acting as a caretaker for the creature. The park was picked because it was the only zoo in Germany that had a family of capuchins for Mally to join.

The zoo contacted the pop star's management to tell it about Mally's new home but did not receive a response, Gunkel said. She doesn't anticipate a visit from the pop star to the zoo.

So far Bieber's fans, known for their devotion to the 19-year-old singer, have not been rushing to the Serengeti Park, but some questions have been posted on Facebook and the zoo's website, she added.

Bieber's representatives declined to comment at the time the animal was confiscated.

Karl Heinz Joachim of the animal shelter told CNN in April that the monkey was "not distressed" but was too young to have been taken from his mother.

Mally was about 14 weeks old when he was brought to the shelter, and would have been only about 9 weeks old when he was reportedly given to Bieber in March, Joachim said.

-- CNN's Ivana Kottasova and Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.

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