Video (Monkey on Thursday): https://www.dropbox.com/s/evtrsvoqk79u64y/VRP20064_1.mp4?dl=0
Video (Monkey on March 15): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ql3crtdd6735s0u/VRP20064_2.mp4?dl=0
Pictures: FTP – Monkey being taken away to fat camp
An obese monkey found gorging on junk food fed to it by market visitors has been rescued and sent to fat camp.
The three-year-old macaque named Godzilla ballooned to 20kg – more than double the normal weight for monkeys – after being tied to a stall and given treats in Bangkok, Thailand.
Video emerged this week of the podgy primate sparking fears for its health due to its resemblance to the late ‘Uncle Fatty’ who died in 2019 after being ‘killed with kindness’ by being fed by humans.
Wildlife officials visited the market in the Min Buri district of the Thai capital on Thursday afternoon (March 25) and Godzilla was carried away in a cage.
Staff will now send Godzilla to the equivalent of a ‘fat camp’, where he will be put on a strict diet, made to exercise and toughened up ready for a return to the wild.
Navee Changpirom, forest chief at Thailand’s Department of National Parks, said: ‘We received a report from someone who was concerned about the health of the monkey.
‘Our investigation then found the owner. He said that he brought the monkey home and took great care of it like one of his family own members. He and his family fed the monkey so well that it became fat. Sometimes marketgoers would find the monkey cute and would also feed it. The monkey became a favourite attraction at the market.’
Godzilla’s owner Manop Emsan said the monkey’s parents were killed by a car when he was a baby and a previous owner had abandoned him.
He kept the monkey as a pet – illegal under the country’s wildlife laws – and let him snack all day while he ran his stall selling meatballs. Passing shoppers would also stop and feed the monkey fruit, nuts, sweets and sugary syrup drinks.
Godzilla now weighs more than 20 kgs – almost as heavy as Uncle Fatty, who tipped the scales at 27kg, and was believed to be between 10 and 15 years old.
Wildlife official Phuwanak Krumnoi, who helped to collect the primate, said Godzilla is ‘critically obese’ and needs to go on a diet as soon as possible.
Former owner Manop will be allowed to visit Godzilla while he is being cared for but the primate will ultimately have to be released back into woodland, where he can interact with other monkeys.
Devastated Manop said: ‘Godzilla is like a son to me. He’s part of the family. He won’t eat if he’s not with us, he becomes moody and sad. I’m worried he won’t survive.’
Forestry official Navee Changpirom added: ‘The monkey was handed over to the National Park team to take care of him and prevent him from gaining more weight.
‘We have to remind people that if they find a wild monkey they should never keep them. The correct step is to call the local police and wait for officials to collect the animal and give proper care.’
Uncle Fatty was a wild monkey whose weight ballooned to 27kg after gorging on junk food from passersby in Thailand in 2017. The primate was later sent to ‘fat camp’ but was last seen in June 2019 before going missing and presumed dead.