Happy Birthday Cheeta!

Cheeta, yoiu may not realize this, but it was YOU who got me interested in Africa and Anthropolology! Happy 76th birhday! You don't look a day over 50 or so.


And no, I don't say that to all the chimps, just some of them.

From Wikipedia:

Cheeta aka Jiggs (probably born in 1932) is a male chimpanzee noted for appearing in numerous movies and television shows, most famously many Hollywood Tarzan films of the 1930s and 1940s, in which he portrayed a fictional chimp of the same name. Cheeta was bought from Henry Trefflich, a New York animal importer and dealer. He was born in the wild in Liberia some months prior to 9 April 1932, which is celebrated as his birthday because it is the date he arrived in the USA, in New York.[1]

While inextricably associated in the public mind with Tarzan, Cheeta as a character was a product of the movies, never appearing in any of the original Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. There are, in fact, no chimpanzees at all in the novels, the closest analog to Cheeta therein being Tarzan's monkey companion N'kima, who appears in several of the later books.

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A chimp who could act was worth his weight in gold in the Tarzan movie franchise. Later chimps had trouble living up the the proud name of Cheeta. When they were shooting a Tarzan movie in 1969, Mike Henry (the then-star) was seriously bitten in the jaw by a chimp. He needed twenty stitches to close the wound and sued the producers later. The chimp was destroyed.

Cheeta should have started a school.