Thailand's Famous Macaque "Uncle Fat" Placed On A Diet!

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Thailand’s famous macaques (Photo Credit: Holidaybays.com)

Thailand’s free-roaming monkeys are a huge tourist draw. The primates, mostly macaques, are known to boldly visit with tourists who lure them with food. One of these monkeys, in particular, has recently become a worldwide sensation for both his gargantuan size and unique social status among his peers.

Nicknamed Uncle Fat, by the locals, the macaque is often seen seeking handouts of junk food and soda from visitors or foraging through trash cans for leftovers. Uncle Fat also has an entourage of smaller primates that deliver him food on a regular basis. Though the monkey does share some of the bounty with younger macaques, he eats more than his fair share. While the macaque’s unhealthy eating habits that have been shared extensively on social media have been amusing to humans, they are proving dangerous for the monkey. A true “chunky monkey,” Uncle Fat now weighs 26 kgs (60 lbs) or about three times the size of an average adult macaque.

Uncle Fat (Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture)

Fearing for the animal’s health, on April 27, primate conservation group Monkey Lovers captured the mammal from Bangkok suburb he frequented daily and brought him to a rehabilitation center in the city. Kacha Phukem, who was commissioned to take him in, says it was no easy task given that he had to fight off several monkey “bodyguards” to get to Uncle Fat.

Fat Uncle (Photo Credit: Monkeylovers via Facebook)

The rotund monkey is now on a strict diet of fruits and vegetables. According to the center’s veterinarian, Supakarn Kaewchot, the excess fat gained from eating the unhealthy food has formed a mass that is now a type of benign tumor and put the monkey at a high risk of contracting heart disease and diabetes. While the officials plan on releasing Uncle Fat once he’s healthy, they hope the macaque does not revert to his old eating habits.

Uncle Fat (Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture)

More importantly, Kaewchot wants visitors to realize the dire consequences of feeding the mammals human snacks and drinks. In addition to being harmful, the intelligent animals are becoming so dependent on the handouts that they are no longer able or willing to find food on their own. While the best solution is to place a ban on feeding them all together, that is unlikely given the tourism business the monkeys earn for Thailand. Hopefully, this overly plump animal’s internet popularity will encourage visitors to offer the macaques healthier fare like bananas and peanuts.

Resources: guardian.com, npr.org, news.yahoo.com

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851 Comments
  • yoyo222
    yoyo222Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 11:56 am
    That is bad and I mean BAD for the monkey
    • wolfieland
      wolfielandTuesday, March 9, 2021 at 7:26 am
      its not good for monkey to be that fat and kinda rude to name him that... but its good that hes on a diet
      • kittylover111
        kittylover111Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 9:03 am
        Funny, he should've been on a diet a long time ago!
        • marysiah
          marysiahWednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm
          Lol I absolutely love monkey mostly bc of chimpanzees.
          • horse123456
            horse123456Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9:25 am
            yum Pringles
          • dragonhearted
            dragonheartedWednesday, November 18, 2020 at 8:11 pm
            He is the monkey equivalent of a human couch potato
            • unipug2
              unipug2Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 9:02 am
              That is true. Think of Smelly Gabe from the Percy Jackson lightning thief book
              • pokerface99
                pokerface99Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm
                So true!
              • pinklilcow
                pinklilcowWednesday, November 18, 2020 at 11:38 am
                Ha Ha! so funny.I love fat animals.
                • zaks
                  zaksWednesday, November 18, 2020 at 11:19 am
                  Cool, I love monkeys. I hope that that monkey becomes better and gets a new name: "Uncle Fit"
                  • gold3nglare
                    gold3nglareTuesday, November 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm
                    I don't whether to be sad, to be overcome by this monkey's cuteness, or burst out laughing.
                    • jyroligykunixy
                      jyroligykunixyMonday, November 16, 2020 at 5:16 pm
                      I feel bad because they locked the gate on him for his on good. But they should not call him "UNCLE FAT"
                      • unique12345
                        unique12345Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 10:38 am
                        they made a rude name for him hope he will get better