Yesterday, it was announced that Cheetah the chimpanzee from the 1930’s TARZAN films had died over the weekend at a Florida animal sanctuary by major news organizations. It was claimed that he died at the age of 80 from Kidney failure. Today, this news is being strongly questioned. Animal experts claim that the normal life expectancy for a chimpanzee in captivity is around 40 years. One well documented case did note one chimpanzee that lived to be 60, but that was the rare exception.
The chimp that died was indeed a remarkable creature. He loved to listen to Christian music, which he found very relaxing. His hobby was finger painting. His favorite television programs were football games, although it was never known whether he actually had a particular favorite team. Maybe chimps don’t think quite that deep. But, chimps are an amazingly intelligent animal, a close relative to mankind. But, all said, it seems highly unlikely that this particular chimp actually lived to be 80.
No doubt the management of the Florida animal sanctuary took very good care of a very remarkable animal, with great personality and intelligence. But, it was probably some sort of mistaken identity that this was also one of the greatest animal stars of all time as well.