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Happy birthday! Two mischievous chimps named the Mitchell brothers turn 18 today

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The Mitchell ‘brothers’ of Whipsnade Zoo – two chimpanzee brothers named after Albert Square’s most notorious duo – are celebrating their 18th birthdays today.

Named Phil and Grant by EastEnders actress Pam St Clements after she visited them on the day they were born, the pair have been enjoying a big birthday bash.

Although they are not actually brothers, it was initially thought that they were twins as Phil’s mum Bonnie was holding the two of them.

Today they got special presents and even a mammoth cardboard cake containing their favourite treats, such as banana and grapes.

Zookeepers have been stuffing colourfully-wrapped presents with nuts, seeds and sultanas as well as building the huge cardboard cake and filling it with even more treats.

They’ve had to share though, as the zoo’s other chimps – Nikki, Bonnie, Koko and Elvis – have also been invited to the celebrations.

They may not be quite as troublesome as their namesakes in Albert Square, but the primate Mitchell brothers are notorious with keepers and visitors.

Zookeeper Graeme Williamson said: “Everyone at Whipsnade has a soft spot for the mischievous duo. They are often seen chasing one another around like rowdy teenagers.

“Grant is known as a bit of a greedy chimp. He loves being the centre of attention and trying to get his hands on more of his favourite treats, especially banana, grapes and monkey nuts.

“Phil is the smaller and shyer of the two. He can often be seen swinging from ropes in the zoo’s ‘Chimpnasium’.

“Both Phil and Grant love investigating new things, so the party will be an excellent way to encourage their natural inquisitive behaviours and celebrate their 18th birthdays.”

 

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