Thailand’s chunky monkey on diet after gorging on junk food

A wild obese macaque, named "Uncle Fat" who was rescued from a Bangkok suburb, sits in a rehabilitation center in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 19, 2017. (AP)
Updated 19 May 2017
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Thailand’s chunky monkey on diet after gorging on junk food

BANGKOK: A morbidly obese wild monkey 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.
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 9 kilograms (20 pounds).
Uncle Fat weighs three times that, tipping the scales at around 26 kilograms (60 pounds).
“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.”
The subordinate monkeys fed into Uncle Fat’s bad habits.
“He had minions and other monkeys bringing food for him but he would also re-distribute it to younger monkeys,” said Supakarn Kaewchot, a veterinarian in charge of the monkey’s diet. “He is now in a 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.
“I understand that people feel sorry for the monkeys and want to feed them when they see them,” Supakarn 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-made.”


Khaleeji music enthralls Saudi audience

Updated 27 min 48 sec ago
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Khaleeji music enthralls Saudi audience

JEDDAH: Singers Abadi Al-Johar, from Saudi Arabia, and Waleed Al- Shami, from Iraq, were a hit at their first concerts in front of families at King Abdullah Economic City on Friday.
Al-Johar, 64, is a musician, singer and composer. One of the most popular Khaleeji singers in the Gulf, he has composed around 50 albums since he began his musical career in 1968. He earned the title Ikhtabout Al-Oud (Octopus of the Oud) from the late Talal Maddah because of his unmatchable Oud playing.
The Saudi singer is also a member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts. He won a number of awards including an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Arts in Egypt, Best Khaleeji Musician Award from Egypt and the Golden Oud from Rotana.
Al-Shami, 46, is an Iraqi singer and composer who began his musical career in 1999 and has composed four albums.
His career took off after the success of his first album “Musiba” in 2008.
First to perform at the venue was Al-Shami. He sang hit songs such as “Sadmah,” “Eshtaqt Lak,” “Majnouni,” “Ahebah Kolesh” and his most popular song “Hala Hala.”
On stage, he thanked the General Entertainment Authority and BluePlan Media for providing the concert to the public.
“I hope it is not the last time we meet. We must repeat this, here, Riyadh and the Eastern Province. That is a promise,” he said.
Following Al-Shami’s performance, Al-Johar sang hit songs such as “Khalas Erjaa,” “El Mazhareya,” “Khayarteni,” “Daqayeq” and “Hobbak Samaa.”
During his performance, the Saudi legend said: “I am delighted by your presence, I will sing any song you want me to.”
Television presenter Kholud Alnimer attended the concert. “It is very crowded, that means there is a lot of love for these singers,” he told Arab News.
The audience was overjoyed with the music of Waled Al Shami and Abadi Al-Johar.
“It is great to see a Khaleeji concert for the first time in front of families, and it has been done very professionally — looking forward to more.” Nadeem bin Talal, a fan, told Arab News.