May 19 (UPI) -- Thai wildlife officials said a massive-bellied monkey dubbed "Uncle Fatty" will be placed on a strict diet before being released back into the wild.
The macaque, which became famous in Thailand after the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Preservation shared a picture on its Facebook page last month, underwent a health examination that determined tumors were not responsible for the size of his belly.
Wildlife officials said Friday that veterinarians determined the monkey, known to locals as "Uncle Fatty" or "Uncle Fat," was morbidly obese due to being given junk food and soft drinks by local residents.
"We humans caused this. We gave him food that monkeys shouldn't eat, and this was totally preventable," Supakarn Kaewchot, a government wildlife veterinarian, told news outlet Khao Sod.
Supakarn said Uncle Fatty was captured in Bangkok's Bang Khun Tian district last month and weighed in at a staggering 57 pounds.
The primate is now being kept in the department's facility in Bangkok and receiving a strict diet of green vegetables, low-sugar fruits and lean protein.
"We also set up logs for Uncle Fatty in his cage and we encourage him to exercise," Supakarn said.
She said the monkey won't be released until his weight has reached an acceptable level.
"As of now, he's only lost a few grams, and this will take some time. Like people, if monkeys get very fat they need time to lose weight. Weight loss will decrease Uncle Fatty's risk of diabetes and heart disease," the veterinarian said.