It was a very big birthday for the Mitchell brothers of Whipsnade Zoo when two chimpanzees named after Albert Square’s most notorious duo celebrated their 18th birthdays on Wednesday.
The chimps were named Phil and Grant by EastEnders actress Pam St Clements after she visited the zoo on the day they were born.And the brothers enjoyed their very own birthday bash with special presents and even a mammoth cardboard cake containing their favourite treats, such as bananas and grapes.
Zookeepers stuffed colourfully wrapped presents with nuts, seeds and sultanas and built a huge cardboard cake, filling it with even more treats.
The Mitchell brothers had to share though, as the zoo’s other chimps – Nikki, Bonnie, Koko and Elvis – were also 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 bananas, 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 was an excellent way to encourage their natural inquisitive behaviours and celebrate their 18th birthdays.”