Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cheetah The Chimp, R.I.P.

From The Associated Press --

A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s has died at age 80.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure.

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

Based on the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Tarzan stories, which have spawned scores of books and films over the years, chronicle the adventures of a man who was raised by apes in Africa.

Cheetah was the comic relief in the Tarzan films, which starred American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. Cobb says Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate sometime around 1960.

Cobb says Cheetah wasn't a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest says that when the chimp didn't like what was going on, he would throw feces.


Michael Jones said...

Maureen O'Sullivan once told an amusing anecdote about Cheetah:
"Cheetah bit me whenever he could. The [Tarzan] apes were all homosexuals, eager to wrap their paws around Johnny Weismuller's thighs. They were jealous of me, and I loathed them."
I never knew chimps could live so long, enjoy your afterlife, Cheetah.

Godzzla said...

Every year my family and me go to Camp Fresno at Dinkey Creek in July, and I just happened to make this years intro to the vacation recap video with a Tarzan theme because we watched the 1934 classic Tarzan and his Mate on a monitor this year around the campfire, probably the best of all the Tarzan films.
The intro is only a few minutes long and mixes 'Welcome to the Jungle' by GNR with Tarzan sounds,and includes scenes from the 1934 film edited in with my family. I'm especially proud of a mouth syncing segment using a young cheetah and hours of editing, and at the time I had no idea he was still alive! Here's the video on youtube if you want to take a look:

Thanks for letting me know about Cheetah.