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'Tarzan' chimp celebrates 74th birthday in SoCal desert - HaPPy BirthDay, Cheeta!
AP - Bakersfield Californian ^ | 4/10/06 | AP

Posted on 04/10/2006 1:19:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

Cheeta the chimp, star of a dozen "Tarzan" movies in the 1930s and 1940s, celebrated his 74th birthday with sugar-free cake.

Although healthy and active, Cheeta is diabetic.

"He had a good time. The party went real good," said keeper Dan Westfall, operator of the primate sanctuary Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes - or CHEETA.

Representatives from a Spanish film festival also showed up for Sunday's party to present Cheeta with the first award of his career - an International Comedy Film Festival of Peniscola prize.

Cheeta has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest chimp. Chimps rarely live past the age of 40 in the wild, but can reach 60 in captivity.

The graying, 150-pound Cheeta, one of six primates at the desert sanctuary 110 miles east of Los Angeles, is very active and "he still has every tooth in his head," Westfall said Monday.

Asked about his typical day, Westfall said one of Cheeta's favorite activities is riding around with him in the car. He also likes to paint, what Westfall calls "ape-stract" pieces that are sold to raise money for the nonprofit sanctuary.

Westfall adopted Cheeta in 1992 from his uncle Tony Gentry, an animal trainer who worked in Hollywood and obtained Cheeta from Africa in the 1930s.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; TV/Movies; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: birthday; celebrates; cheeta; chimp; socal; tarzan; workingdogs

National Geographic

Tarzan's Cheeta's Life as a Retired Movie Star

1 posted on 04/10/2006 1:19:14 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

He was signing autographs 10 years ago.

Pretty consistent scribble too (up and down, up and down, up and down).


2 posted on 04/10/2006 1:21:14 PM PDT by weegee ("CBS NEWS? Is that show still on?" - freedomson)
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To: NormsRevenge

"A chimp's strength flows from the Force. When reach his age, look as good you will not."


3 posted on 04/10/2006 1:21:52 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Never question Bruce Dickinson!)
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To: NormsRevenge
*LOL*

Bttt

4 posted on 04/10/2006 1:23:55 PM PDT by DoctorMichael (The Fourth-Estate is a Fifth-Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge
Haaaappy Biiiirthday, Mistah......Cheetaaaaaaaah
Happy Birthday toooooooo you....


5 posted on 04/10/2006 1:31:23 PM PDT by Hatteras
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To: NormsRevenge; xsmommy; Tijeras_Slim
The graying, 150-pound Cheeta, one of six primates at the desert sanctuary 110 miles east of Los Angeles, is very active and "he still has every tooth in his head"

Wish *I* could say as much.

6 posted on 04/10/2006 1:32:19 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: NormsRevenge

Is Boy still alive?


7 posted on 04/10/2006 1:32:34 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: texianyankee

http://www.briansdriveintheater.com/johnnysheffield.html

Yep, retired in Southern California.


8 posted on 04/10/2006 1:35:49 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: NormsRevenge
Wow, I hope I make it to 74.

Happy B-Day, Cheeta.

9 posted on 04/10/2006 1:36:52 PM PDT by SIDENET (Gonna shake it, gonna break it, let's forget it better still)
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To: NormsRevenge
"In his earlier years Cheeta had a penchant for beer and cigars, reportedly drinking several cold ones a day. Westfall and Karajerjian said booze and smoke have not been a part of the old chimp's life since he came into their care ten years ago."

Gave up booze & smoking....wow....

10 posted on 04/10/2006 1:37:00 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Thanks, good to hear that along with Cheeta, that Boy is still with us, too.


11 posted on 04/10/2006 1:39:37 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: martin_fierro
lay off the swedish fish

they'll rot the teeth right out your skull....

12 posted on 04/10/2006 1:39:46 PM PDT by xsmommy
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To: Tijeras_Slim
... by age seven, Sheffield was appearing on the legitimate stage ...

I have always wondered just what constituted the illegitimate stage. Then I saw a couple of clips of the '06 Oscars, and stopped wondering.

13 posted on 04/10/2006 2:37:57 PM PDT by Fatuncle (Of course I'm ignorant. I'm here to learn.)
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To: martin_fierro

UNNGH-OWHA!


14 posted on 04/10/2006 2:39:57 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ClearCase_guy
"A chimp's strength flows from the Force. When reach his age, look as good you will not."

Hah! Yoda should talk!


15 posted on 04/10/2006 2:41:36 PM PDT by Fatuncle (Of course I'm ignorant. I'm here to learn.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Happy OO OO - AA AA Birthday Cheetah!"
16 posted on 04/10/2006 7:20:08 PM PDT by Khurkris (Don't blame me. I was out the entire day.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wonder if he's signed up on Medicare Part B?


17 posted on 04/10/2006 8:01:12 PM PDT by Sybeck1 (Desoto county MS Freeper)
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To: NormsRevenge
Sorry, I was waiting for the punchline ...

" ... to present Cheeta with the first award of his career - an International Comedy Film Festival of Peniscola prize.

Cheeta has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's ...

18 posted on 04/10/2006 10:11:34 PM PDT by Rte66
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To: Rte66

LOL.. Oh man,, there are typos and then,, lol ...


19 posted on 04/10/2006 10:14:11 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Have you hugged an illegal alien today?)
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To: NormsRevenge

It's really bad when we make them in pubic like this, too.


20 posted on 04/10/2006 10:24:21 PM PDT by Rte66
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To: Rte66

Best to keep it zipped. ;-)


21 posted on 04/10/2006 10:26:49 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Have you hugged an illegal alien today?)
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