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Rest in Peace, Cheetah

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | December 29, 2011
irishwildcat | cc by 2.0

A chimpanzee named Cheetah, who reportedly played Johnny Weissmuller’s sidekick in the old Tarzan movies, has died. There is some debate over Cheetah’s credentials, but regardless of whether he ever acted in the Tarzan movies, he almost certainly was torn away from his family and home when he was just a baby and spent decades being exploited by humans.

He ended his years in a Florida “scamtuary”—a facility formerly known as the Chimp Farm—which for years confined intelligent primates to cramped concrete and iron cells. Unfortunately, little has improved since the outfit gave itself the misleadingly grandiose name of Suncoast Primate Sanctuary and the original owner’s granddaughter took over operations.

Ending up in decrepit roadside zoos is often how animal “actors” are “retired.” Please never buy a ticket to a movie that uses animals instead of innovative computer-generated imagery, and never visit roadside zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries that continue to exploit formerly famous animals to their dying day.

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  • sjones says:

    so sad… so exploited….The difference between NPR’s reporting of Cheetah’s life & passing and PETA’s account of Cheetah’s life & suffering is depressing. NPR made it sound as if Cheetah was in a caring sanctuary (like The Center for the Great Ape or Save The Chimps also in Florida). Cheetah had no choices. Thank-you PETA for reporting a more truthful account.

  • Darcy says:

    His poor face looks so sad! Well he will never have to suffer again because of the ignorance and inhumanity of people. RIP Cheetah!!!

  • sara says:

    You are in the comfort of ST. Francis!! You will never have to suffer again!!! So sorry Cheetah!!!

  • Adriana says:

    RIP, Cheetah..