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Tourist-fed four stone monkey is put on a diet

By Kaweewit Kaewjinda

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

Wildlife officials caught the chunky monkey - nicknamed "Uncle Fat" by locals at a market in Bangkok - 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 20lb. Uncle Fat weighs three times that, tipping the scales at around 60lb.

"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."

Uncle Fat is believed to be aged between 10 and 15. To help him lose weight, his new diet is limited to 14oz of lean protein, fruit and vegetables.

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