Wed
Dec 28 2011 10:24am

Cheetah the Chimp: 1931-2011

An onscreen companion of Tarzan; Cheetah the Chimp, has sadly passed away. Cheetah was an animal actor who was one of a few chimps who appeared with Johnny Weissmuller in the 1930s and 40s Tarzan classic movie serials. Since the 1960s Cheetah has lived at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida. The officials there have reported most chimps in captivity usually only live into their 30s, meaning Cheetah was particularly long-lived. Cheetah was apparently one of the more amiable chimpanzees in this particular sanctuary, and will be missed fondly. Cheetah’s Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller died in 1984. NPR is reporting Cheetah passed away due to complications to kidney failure on Christmas Eve. Farewell, Cheetah!

5 comments
N. Mamatas
1. N. Mamatas
Lies! All lies!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112500939.html
mark Proctor
2. mark-p
I think that Washington Post story is about a different chimp, cheeta not cheetah according the the bbc article I read 5 minuites ago.
Although it is hard to believe that either could have lived that long maybe there is more evidence for this one.
Polenth Blake
3. Polenth
My understanding is they were two different chimps too, though that doesn't mean Cheetah's story is more credible than Cheeta's. Which seems to be the BBC's take on it, as they're careful to say claimed and alleged, rather than stating it as fact.

After you've been burnt one time, you're not going to assume the next chimp really was in Tarzan either.
Alex Brown
4. AlexBrown
Cheetah and Cheeta were the same chimp. They were just alternate spellings of the same animal's name. Nevertheless, chimps don't live to 80 in captivity and there's no way that chimp was the same one from Tarzan.
Polenth Blake
5. Polenth
They have a similar name and claim, but they're different chimps. They live (or lived) in different places with different owners. One is dead (Cheetah from Suncoast Primate Sanctuary) and one is alive (Cheeta from C.H.E.E.T.A. Primate Sanctuary). The Washington Post article is about Cheeta - the one who is still alive.

So expect this story again in a few years, when Cheeta dies.

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