Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tarzan chimp celebrates 75th birthday

tarzan cheetah chimpCheetah, the chimpanzee who starred in the Tarzan movies in the 1930s and who is considered the world's oldest chimp, has celebrated his 75th birthday.

Cheetah, whose coat is now peppered with grey hair, marked the occasion with a party featuring sugar-free cake and diet soft drinks in the California desert town of Palm Springs, famous as a retirement community for old movie stars.

He has lived there with his trainer for the past 16 years.

Chimpanzees rarely live past their 40s in the wild but often live into their 60s in captivity.

According to his trainer, Dan Westfall, Cheetah's only health problem is that he has been diabetic for about seven years.

Cheetah was brought from Liberia in 1932 as a baby and made his movie debut in 1934.

He starred in about a dozen Tarzan films and retired from his film career after appearing in the 1967 picture Dr Doolittle.

Story here.

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