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"The Monkeys' Father" in Tibet

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By Lesley Alexander
"The Monkeys' Father" in Tibet

Tibet: The land known as the "roof of the world" is the setting for a heartwarming love story between monkeys and an elderly man.

A group of Tibetan macaques are taken care of by their 69-year-old guardian and breeder who visits them almost daily, with food and affection.

It is a five kilometre drive to where the monkeys live in Gongbo'gyamda County for Dobrgyal but he has showered the creatures with love and tasty treats for 18 years.

And his tender, loving care is having the desired effect. Where once there were only dozens of macaques in this particular beauty spot, now there are nearly 3,000 - with tourists to feed them, too.

But only one man in Tibet, governed as an autonomous region of China, has earned the nickname "The Monkeys' Father".

"Now I'm so old, nearly 70 years old. In the rest of my life, I will do my utmost to look after the monkeys," Dobrgyal said.

"If, someday, my health stopped me feeding them anymore, I will let my sons replace me."

His furry friends will be hoping that their adoptive father can keep visiting for many years to come.