The World famous chimpanzee died last Sunday (Dec. 24) of kidney failure. She was 80.
Cheetah appeared in the Hollywood Tarzan films starring U.S Olympic champion swimmer Johnny Weissmuller beginning in 1932, according to Debbie Cobb, the sanctuary's outreach director.
The chimp was outgoing, enjoyed making people laugh, was a fan of finger painting and appeared to be "in tune to human feelings," Cobb told the Tampa Tribune and television station WFLA.
He is believed to have appeared alongside Weissmuller in films such as Tarzan the Ape Man and Tarzan and his Mate. Cheetah first arrived at the Florida sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate around 1960, Cobb said.
Weissmuller died in 1984.
Since announcing the chimp's death, the sanctuary has received a flood of condolences on its website from fans — both locals who visited him in person and those in different countries who recalled the Tarzan films.
(With files from The Associated Press)