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Chunky monkey put on diet

A morbidly obese wild monkey who gorged himself on junk food and soda left behind by tourists has been rescued and placed on a strict diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables.

Wildlife officials caught the chunky monkey — nicknamed "Uncle Fat" by locals — after photos of the animal started circulating on social media last month.

Wild monkeys roam free in many parts of Thailand, attracting tourists who feed and play with the animals. Most of the monkeys are macaques like Uncle Fat, and they typically weigh around 20 pounds. Uncle Fat weighs three times that.

"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 subordinate monkeys fed into 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. "He is now in a critical condition where there is a high-risk of heart disease and diabetes."



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