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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839 Comments
  • abbygreatsarahr
    abbygreatsarahrTuesday, September 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm
    That was rude but it is good for his health.
    • jyroligykunixy
      jyroligykunixySaturday, August 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm
      I really feel bad for him.
      • sweet-readlover
        sweet-readloverSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 6:46 am
        I kinda felt bad when they closed the gate when he came over to eat food. But I know it is for his health.
        • dogo_maniac
          dogo_maniacSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 6:34 am
          This reminds how bad littering has become.😭 imagine what would've happened if they haven't set him on the diet... But it does make me happy how much people care for sick animals like "uncle fat" I hope he loses that nickname soon!
          • f9uhytf
            f9uhytfSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 6:05 am
            I feel so sorry inside but laughing outside
            • panda_power
              panda_powerFriday, July 24, 2020 at 7:47 am
              i feel so bad for that poor monkey😥😥😭😭😭
              • sweet-readlover
                sweet-readloverFriday, July 24, 2020 at 7:23 am
                I feel so bad for him.😔I hope it will better soon!
                • backtoschool
                  backtoschoolFriday, July 24, 2020 at 4:36 am
                  Omg!! I'm glad they put him on a diet!! I hope he's doing good!!🐒🐵
                  • goodvibesonly09
                    goodvibesonly09Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm
                    Oh no! I hope the monkey is ok!
                    • 11008800
                      11008800Monday, July 6, 2020 at 12:48 pm
                      That poor monkey. I feel so bad for him. Like, Comment, and follow if you agree!!