Meet Uncle Fatty. This macaque monkey living at the Bang Khun Thian beachside resort in Bangkok, Thailand weighed a whopping 33 lbs. He made international headlines after photos of the chunky monkey surfaced on social media.
A Thai wildlife conservation group stepped in and took Uncle Fatty out of the resort and put him in a health “boot camp”. He was fed fruits and vegetables and now he weighs 17 lbs. His current weight is still a little hefty for a macaque, but it’s much better than his previous weight.
Macaques are members of the Cercopithecine Family. There are multiple species of macaques all around the world.
In Southeast Asia, the long-tailed macaque, also known as, cynomolgus monkeys are prevalent. Other species of macaques eat leaves, plants, and flowers but the long-tailed macaque eats clams and other small creatures.
Macaque groups are led by females but the males often leave and wander on their own. These monkeys have an interesting relationship with the region. For years, they were seen as pests and then as sacred animals of worship. Now, many of them are used for science experiments.
In areas such as Hong Kong, macaque habitats have overlapped with human living spaces and many wander onto resorts and other heavily populated areas.
Visitors to the resort Uncle Fatty frequented would feed him food such as corn, watermelon, and sugary drinks. He became so huge his belly hung to the floor.
The wildlife Conservation group tested Uncle Fatty to see if he had any tumors. After his negative test results, they kept him on site and put him on a strict diet.
Uncle Fatty will be returning to the Bang Khun district soon. Experts warn against feeding him fatty foods. They want tourists to leave the monkey alone. Local officials will post signage prohibiting tourists from feeding the monkey and designated feeding times will be established.