Remember seeing signs that urge tourists not to feed wild monkeys?
It’s not there without reason. The recent pictures of a 26kg long-tailed macaque circulating on the Internet are hammering the exact same point home – don’t feed wild monkeys food.
Today, we see the chubby monkey nicknamed “Uncle Fat” as a result of over-indulging in a variety of food fed by tourists who were heading to one of the floating water markets in Bangkok, Thailand.
Uncle Fat and his entourage in Bangkok, Thailand
Say hello to Uncle Fat and his slightly – if not just as heavy – counterparts in Bangkok, Thailand.
He became prominent after pictures of his astonishing weight blew up the Internet.
While it is commonplace for wild monkeys to be around 9kg, it is not prosaic for one to weigh around 26kg. Uncle Fat bears a jaw-dropping weight of 26kg. Can you imagine that?
Just what led to a double-digit figure on the weighing scale for these wild monkeys?
Typically, tourists find these roaming monkeys fascinating and without bearing in mind the consequences, proceed to feed these monkeys. Gradually, they become plump as they are being fed excessively by tourists, especially with unhealthy snacks like milkshakes.
After news of Uncle Fat surfaced, he was captured by the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Now placed in a Nakhon Nayok wildlife rescue centre, regular health checks will be conducted on him.
The wildlife official who caught Uncle Fat remarked having difficulty in catching him as he had to fend off attacks from the subordinate monkeys. In fact, these monkeys were the ones who brought food to Uncle Fat and fuelled his overconsumption of food. Nevertheless, a veterinarian commented that Uncle Fat would redistribute food brought to him to younger monkeys
If the pictures circulating on the Internet didn’t sound the alarm, Uncle Fat may continue to be highly susceptible to heart disease and diabetes. Besides, an individual from the relevant authorities mentioned that the obese monkey played a pivotal role in the circle of monkeys hovering around the market in the Bang Khun Thian district.
Now put on a strict diet program
Even monkeys have to watch their calories and diet, much like us human beings. The weight loss plan being put in place for Uncle Fat is to limit his diet to 400 grams of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables twice a day.
Hopefully, he will be released to the wild in a few months’ time and that history would not repeat itself.
Overweight monkeys in Osaka, Japan
It isn’t the first time such a sight similar to Uncle Fat emerged.
Back in 2009, obese Macaca mulatta monkeys were also spotted in Sakai city in Osaka prefecture, Japan.
One-third of the 50 monkeys kept within the enclosure is overweight, with the heaviest weighing around 23kg. They became this heavy as visitors frequently fed them with few barriers at the enclosure preventing them from doing so.
Since then, the overweight monkeys have been put on a special diet of fish, extra-healthy vegetables and grains. A few months in, results began to show and the monkeys have shed weight after the zookeepers stopped visitors from feeding them.
Such incidents serve as a timely reminder that we shouldn’t feed wild monkeys with food, as much as we’re inclined to.