An obese wild monkey from Thailand who ate solely junk food and soda left behind by tourists has been rescued and put on a strict diet consisting of lean protein, fruits a, d vegetables.
As Associated Press reports, the wild monkey, affectedly nicknamed “Uncle Fat” by locals, was caught by local wildlife activists after several photos of the chunky animal started circulating on social media last month.
The sight of wild monkey roaming free across different regions in Thailand is a fairly common occurrence, attracting tourists who feed and play with the animals. Most of the monkeys are macaques who typically weigh around 20 pounds (9 kilograms). In comparison, Uncle Fat weighs three times that at around 60 pounds (26 kilograms).
“It was not easy to catch him,” said Kacha Phukem, the wildlife official who conducted the capture and rescue on April 27. “He was the leader of his pack, and when I tried to go in, I had to fight off a flock of them with sticks.”
The other member of the pack picked up on Uncle Fat’s bad habits.
“He had minions and other monkeys bringing food for him but he would also re-distribute it to younger monkeys,” said Supakarn Kaewchot, a veterinarian in charge of the monkey’s diet.
“After he ate food given by humans for a while, he developed a fat mass, which became a type of benign tumor,” Supakarn said. “He is now in a critical condition where there is a high risk of heart disease and diabetes.”
Uncle Fat is now on a strict diet of 400 grams worth of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables twice a day as it’s hoped he can be ready to go back to the wildlife in a few months. The 10 to 15 years old monkey is a prime example why people shouldn’t feed wild monkeys unhealthy food.
“I understand that people feel sorry for the monkeys and want to feed them when they see them,” Supakarn said. “But please don’t feed them food that people like to eat like snacks and soda. It is very bad for their health and the problem is entirely man-made.”
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