BANGKOK — An obese pet macaque on Thursday was taken away by state wildlife officials so that he can go on a diet.
Officials from the national parks department confiscated Godzilla, 3, from his owner Manop Emsan at their stall at Min Buri Market in order to put him on a strict diet and release him into the wild.
Godzilla went internationally viral after photos and videos emerged of the 20-kilogram macaque eating food fed to him by passersby. Healthy macaques his age typically weigh between 8 and 10 kilograms.
Manop was visibly distressed that Godzilla, a crab-eating macaque around 3 years, 8 months old, would be leaving his family.
“He’s like a son to me. I’m worried he won’t make it,” Manop said, wiping his tears on his sleeve. “He’s really bonded with all of us. If any of us aren’t home, he gets depressed and won’t eat. He’ll only eat if we’re all together.”
Manop said Gozilla recognizes when family members come home or go out.
Wildlife official Phuwanak Krumnoi, who helped take Godzilla in to get rehabilitated, said that the monkey was critically obese and needed to go on a diet as soon as possible. The family would still be allowed to visit Godzilla, he said.
In 2017, a similarly-pudgy macaque named “Uncle Fatty” also went viral for his weight due to eating human food and was also taken in by officials for weight rehabilitation.