[monkeywire] Chunky monkeys put on diet at Japanese park

Josh Greenman josh.greenman at gmail.com
Fri May 9 19:13:10 EDT 2008


Chunky monkeys put on diet at Japanese park

By Julian Ryall in Tokyo

Last updated: 6:15 AM BST 06/05/2008

Tourists visiting the Ohama Park in the Japanese city of Osaka have
hurled so many titbits to the resident troupe of monkeys that some are
so obese they can hardly walk.

The park has 50 Macaca mulatta monkeys, which generally weigh up to 11
kg in the wild.

On a diet of crisps, bread and sweets provided by well-meaning
visitors around a third of the monkeys are now overweight and the five
leaders of the troupe tip the scales at more than 15 kg.

The heaviest male weighs over 29kg and does little more than shuffle
around the 420-square-metre enclosure waiting for the next hand-out,
according to park officials.

The monkeys have been put on a special low-fat diet and signs have
been put around the enclosure asking visitors not to feed them.

But the park estimates that as many as 20 people every day ignore the request.

Questioned about when the baby monkeys are due to be born, one
official said he had to explain that one roly-poly monkey was actually
a male with a pot belly.

The city government is considering erecting a fence around the
enclosure to stop people throwing more food to the already overweight

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