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Cheetah the chimp from 1930s Tarzan flicks dies

- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PALM HARBOR, FLA. (AP) - A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee from the Tarzan movies of the 1930s has died at age 80.

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

Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Wednesday told The Tampa Tribune ( http://bit.ly/rRuTeJ) that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says 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. 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 when the chimp didn't like what was going on, he would throw feces.

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