29 Dec 2011

Ex-movie chimp dead

2:30 pm on 29 December 2011

A chimpanzee who reputedly starred in Tarzan films in the 1930s has died at the age of 80, according to the sanctuary where he lived.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor said Cheetah died on Saturday of kidney failure.

It said he had appeared alongside Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan in Tarzan films from 1932-34.

A spokeswoman told the Tampa Tribune that Cheetah came from Weissmuller's estate in about 1960.

The BBC reports it is not clear what lay behind Cheetah's longevity, or what evidence there is for it.