(RNN) – "Uncle Fat" pretty much had it made running his crew of macaque monkeys in a nook of Thailand - but then he got so fat humans decided to help him.
The average macaque weighs 20 pounds and Uncle Fat, as he is known to locals, goes about 60, three times the norm.
He got that way eating junk food and soda that tourists left behind. And he had a whole troop of other monkeys who brought it to him because he's the boss of them.
But he could develop heart disease and diabetes, said Kacha Phukem, the wildlife official who captured the monkey for his own good.
Uncle Fat was hard to catch despite being slowed by a fat mass that makes his stomach protrude.
“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,” Phukem said.
The subordinate monkeys brought him goodies, which he, as any good king should, re-distributed to the other monkeys, said a veterinarian who has been put in charge of his recovery.
Uncle Fat is believed to be between 10 and 15 years old. Wildlife caregivers hope after a few months of 400 grams of lean protein, fruit and vegetables twice a day, he’ll be ready to release back into the wild.
Supakarn Keawchot, the veterinarian, said this is a prime example of why people shouldn’t feed wild monkeys the kinds of things humans eat.
“I understand people feel sorry for the monkeys and want to feed them when they see them,” she said. “But please don’t feed them food that people like to eat like snacks and soda. It is very bad for their health and the problem is entirely man-man,” she told AP.
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