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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Tarzan's chimp Cheeta reaches 74
Sidekick Cheeta helped Tarzan in his film adventures
Cheeta the chimpanzee, who appeared in the Tarzan movies, has attended a party to celebrate his 74th birthday.

Cheeta is kept by US primate sanctuary owner Dan Westfall, who was given him by an uncle who was a Hollywood animal trainer in the 1930s.

The chimp, who appeared opposite Johnny Weissmuller in 12 films, is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest chimp.

Cheeta was given a sugar-free cake at the party as he is now diabetic.

Chimpanzees rarely live past 40 in the wild but can reach 60 in captivity.

Film history

Keeper Westfall runs the Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes (Cheeta) sanctuary in Palm Springs, California.

He said: "Cheeta had a good time. The party went real good."

Westfall added that Cheeta was very active and "still has every tooth in his head".

Representatives from a Spanish film festival attended the party to present Cheeta with the first award of his career - an International Comedy Film Festival of Peniscola prize.

Westfall adopted Cheeta in 1992 from his uncle, who obtained the chimp from Africa in the 1930s.

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