LONDON -- Monkeys and bananas. It's as natural a pairing as squirrels and nuts or movies and popcorn.
Not any more, says one zoo in southwest England.
Paignton Zoo in Devon is grabbing bananas out of its monkeys' hands, giving them leafy veggies and sprouts instead.
This is no monkey-business diet fad, though.
The zoo says the high calorie and sugar content of bananas grown for human consumption -- which are sweeter than those found in the wild -- are bad for the monkeys' health and can rot their teeth.
"Bananas grown for human consumption are full of sugar and calories, and bear no relation to fruit grown organically," said zoo spokesman Philip Knowling.
"Life in the wild is hard work and in a zoo you can sometimes look after the animals too well and it isn't good for their health."
Thicker, better fur
Humans can continue gobbling up their bananas, just keep them away from monkeys.
"Sweet and juicy bananas are good for humans but not for monkeys," Knowling said. "Animal nutrition has become a problem. Bananas and monkeys is a bit of a cliche, but they're not a good combination."
The zoo has not been able to find a supplier for the kind of wild-grown bananas that would be more suitable for the monkeys, he said. So, it decided it was time to put them back on the shelf.
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