A morbidly obese wild monkey in Thailand 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, the AP reports. 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.
"After he ate food given by humans for a while, he developed a fat mass, which became a type of benign tumor," said Supakarn Kaewchot, a veterinarian in charge of the monkey's diet. "He is now in critical condition where there is a high risk of heart disease and diabetes." Uncle Fat is believed to be between 10 and 15 years old. To help him lose weight, his new diet is limited to 400 grams worth of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables twice a day. Supakarn said she hopes that within a few months they can consider releasing him to the wild. She said Uncle Fat is an example of why people shouldn't feed wild monkeys unhealthy food. (Read more monkey stories.)