Thursday, November 25, 2004

RUNAWAY CHIMPANZEE IN CALIFORNIA

Officers chase down teenage chimpanzee

Police officers say they got "a little comic relief" on a mundane Friday night when a woman called to report a gorilla in her back yard.

It turned out to be a chimp that ran away from Casa de Cheeta, the sanctuary just blocks away from the caller that houses and rehabilitates show-business primates.

The sanctuary is named after Cheeta, the retired chimpanzee star of a dozen Tarzan movies, who still resides there at age 72.

The runaway chimp was Cheeta's 16-year-old grandson, Jeeter....

The chimps' owner, Dan Westfall, said he'd forgotten to latch a security door and Jeeter walked out. He said he has since installed a second security door to keep both chimps inside.