Monkeys’ Father – The Man Who Dedicated His Life to Wild Macaques in Tibet

When 69-year-old Dobrgyal started looking after the wild macaques at at scenic spot in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, their population numbered only 40-50 specimens. Today, 18 years later, that same place is home to over 2,800 Tibetan macaques.

Dobrgyal’s relationship with the Tibetan macaques in Gongbo’gyamda County has been described as a heartwarming love story between man and monkey, and he has come to be known as the Monkeys’ Father. A former forest keeper in the area, the 69-year-old man has been driving 5 km almost every day just to feed the macaques at a popular tourist spot, but also show them affection and make sure they are healthy. On occasions, he has even taken some of the animals home with him and nursed them back to health.

Photo: YouTube screengrab reports that Dobrgyal has been the only one working as a breeder in Gongbo’gyamda area for the last 16 years, and credits him as the main reason that the macaque population at the scenic spot has risen from around 50, 18 years ago, to nearly 3,000.

Today, Tibetan macaques are a protected species in China, and their food is provided by the Gongbo’gyamda forestry bureau, but it’s Dobrgyal who loads the bags in his trucks and delivers it to the monkeys personally. Thanks to his efforts, the macaques’ home has become very popular with tourists, many of whom also feed the animals.

having dedicated almost two decades of his life to the macaques, Dobrgyal  now worried about what will happen to them if his health no longer allows him to take care of them properly.


“Now I’m so old, nearly 70 years old,” Dobrgyal said recently. “In the rest of my life I will do my best to take care of the monkeys, but if someday my health prevents me from feeding them anymore, I will have my sons replace me.”

Hopefully, the furry creatures will be able to rely on their adoptive human father for many years to come.