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German Zoo Says Justin Bieber’s Illegal Monkey “Still Has Issues”

Mally, the capuchin monkey seized from Justin Bieber by German authorities in 2013, still displays signs of developmental damage caused by Bieber’s inadequate care, according to the German zoo where the monkey now lives. Mally is “healthy and seems to be quite happy,” a representative for Serengeti Wildlife Park told babe.net, but he struggles to communicate with other monkeys.

“He still has issues speaking the capuchin language,” Asta Knoth said. “He still tries to imitate human speech. He sometimes makes weird scratchy sounds which are not typical for capuchins. That’s why we think he still tries to talk to humans.”

Knoth added, “It took a while for him to get there because he was taken away from his mother and natural family way too early. He did not learn to be a monkey.”

German customs officials confiscated Mally after Bieber brought him to Munich on a private plane without any vaccination records or proof of purchase. Mally was 14 months old at the time. The singer reportedly pledged to return to the country with proper documentation to retrieve his pet, but he never did, leading officials to speculate that Mally was purchased on the black market. It is illegal to own a monkey in California.

In 2014, a Serengeti zookeper told Mail Online that Mally arrived “friendless, nervous, alone and timid,” but grew “very happy” in his new digs. Knoth said the monkey “did recover fine and he is healthy,” aside from his speaking problems.

Bieber told GQ in 2015 that he was interested in purchasing a second monkey, saying “monkeys are awesome.” The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance responded to the suggestion through TMZ, saying, “Please do not repeat this foolish endeavor.”