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Cheetah: Dead At 80

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A shot from the 1932 film “Tarzan the Ape Man.”

The world lost a famous chimp this week.

Cheetah the famous chimp passed away this past week. Cheetah was estimated to be around 80 years old.

Cheetah was a chimpanzee who became famous when he starred alongside Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan in “Tarzan” films in the 1930s.

He passed away Saturday.

According to TMZ, he passed away from kidney failure in Palm Harbor, Florida where he had been living since the 1960s. He’d been living at The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary noted his death and said in a statement,”It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member.”

According to the New York Times, Debbie Cobb, the outreach director at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, told  The Tampa Tribune they got Cheetah from Weissmuller’s Ocala estate around 1960.

According to WFLA, Cobb reportedly described him saying he enjoyed watching football, although she didn’t know if he rooted for any team in particular, finger painting and Christian music.

According to CNN, several chimpanzees appeared in Tarzan movies in the 1930s and 1940s and Cheetah was said to have appeared in the films from 1932 to 1934.

Though many credit Cheetah for his work in the films, many others dispute if he was the same chimp that starred in the Tarzan films claiming it’s hard to believe since chimps rarely live into their 70s in captivity. (Typically, chimps can live up to 45 years in captivity and reportedly, only about 35 in the wild.)

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