Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Tarzan chimp Cheetah dies aged 80

Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and Cheetah the chimpanzee, in a scene from the 1932 movie Tarzan the Ape Man.

Cheetah the chimpanzee from the Tarzan movies of the 1930s has died at the age of 80.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbour, Florida announced on its website that Cheetah died on December 24 of kidney failure.

Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb told The Tampa Tribune that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She said he seemed to be tuned into human feelings.

Cheetah was the comic relief in the Tarzan series starring American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller.

Ms Cobb said Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate sometime around 1960.

Ms Cobb said Cheetah was not a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest said when the chimp did not like what was going on, he would throw faeces.

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