Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Macaca Madness

Ever wonder what those animals in the zoo do all day? I'm sure they are ridiculously bored most of the time. I mean, they're cooped up in an area that, while sufficient, is a big smaller than the expanse of the wild. And whenever you're at the zoo and you're looking at the animals, they never do anything. You're always hoping that it will be like a cartoon or something, where the animal loves to entertain the tourists and does everything but speak French and smoke a pipe. But nothing. You might be lucky enough to catch one rolling over during it's nap, but that's about the highlight. So what do they do? They probably do the same things that you or I would do. Sleep. Eat. Repeat as needed.

And that would appear to be the case for about 50 of the Macaca monkeys at the Omaha park (that's a zoo) in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture (that's in Japan). Apparently, the tourists have been either allowed to feed the monkeys or they've just been feeding them regardless as to whether it's allowed or not. Whatever it is, the monkeys have been getting overfed by the tourists and they are now freaking huge. Behold! A fat Macaca!

Jabba the Macaca

Holy Fat Primate! What the hell?! That is a BFM (Big Fat Monkey) if there ever was one. But there wasn't just one. Remember? There are about FIFTY. Behold! BFM Number Two!

That's a BFM right there.

It's like a cross between a monkey and Jabba the Hut. And when I say "cross between" I mean "it looks like Jabba the Hut ate a monkey" Wow.

The monkeys are housed in a 420 square foot enclosure. OK, that's not very big, folks. 420 square feet? That's like maybe 20 feet by 20 feet. (Some may think it's smaller, but it's not!) And judging from these photos, those monkeys take up about five feet by five feet. It will come as no surprise that these guys are having difficulty getting around in the minimal amount of space that they do have to get around in.

A typical weight for a healthy adult macaca is about 20 pounds. These monkeys weigh in at around 63 pounds. That is over THREE TIMES their healthy weight! Three monkeys in one body. That can't be good for anyone and clearly, if you're looking at these photos, it's not.

BFM enjoying a grass snack

According to the good folks over there at The Daily Mail, tourists and visitors (not sure of the difference) are being asked to not throw bananas to the obese monkeys. They even came up with a catchy (pun probably intended) little sign to get their point across. I like it.

Do not hurl bananas at the monkeys

I do think that they should have made the monkey fatter, though.

What I'd like to know is how in the hell it got to this point BEFORE someone noticed that these guys were looking a tad bit on the hefty side? I mean, we are talking THREE times their normal body weight here. Don't you think someone would have caught on when their body weight, say, had only DOUBLED?! How did it get to this point!? Seriously. Look, this is a normal Macaca:

The model of Macaca monkey-ness

OK, this is just sad. And when you see what a normal weighted Macaca looks like, it really sort of makes a few things really clear. One, those monkeys have been fed approximately 500 bananas a day for quite some time. And two, those zookeepers over there in Japan really need to pay a little bit more attention to the physique of their animals because this just isn't right.

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Stan said...

"420 square feet? That's like seven feet by six feet."

Interesting post, but 7x6=42 not 420. Perhaps the enclosure is more like 10x42 or 12x35 or 20x21 which all equal 420 square feet. Still not big enough, those poor animals.

Mare said...

This is, literally, one of my more popular posts and now, six, almost six and a half months later, someone gets the math right! My mistake. You're totally right. (42 sq. feet would be really cramped!)

I'll edit that to reflect the actual measurements, instead ones I just made up in my head, apparently. Thanks for pointing that out!

And while I'm glad the math will now be correct, it still, sadly, doesn't make me feel any better about the BFMs.