Cheetah the Chimp Dies?

None of these is the same Cheetah who may have just died.

This chimpanzee supposedly played in Tarzan movies of the 1930s and has just now died at age 80. That would be a phenomenal age for a chimp.

Chimp from 1930s US 'Tarzan' films dead at 80 - Yahoo! News:
"The Florida chimpanzee -- which reportedly arrived at the sanctuary in 1960 -- loved finger-painting and watching football, and was soothed by Christian music, the sanctuary's outreach director Debbie Cobb told the Tampa Tribune.

Ron Priest, a sanctuary volunteer, told the Tribune that Cheetah stood out because he could walk upright with a straight back like a human. "When he didn't like somebody or something that was going on, he would pick up some poop and throw it at them. He could get you at 30 feet with bars in between," Priest said."


  1. Ah, the unexpected effects of these old Tarzan movies. I had a teacher during elementary school (a very old lady) who was convinced that the "cheetah" mentioned in the geography text book (among the animals found in Africa) was "kind of like a monkey" XD

  2. But also reasonable when you think about it...well, possibly. I know Croconut has mentioned being of Mexican ancestry in various posts. If this teacher also was, and the book was translated badly from English, which wouldn't have been this lady's first language, that might explain the confusion--especially if a picture was lacking.

    The Spanish word for cheetah is "guepard"--literally, leopard. In French--my mother's family is French-Canadian--there is also no literal word for cheetah: you say "guepard du cours"--hunting leopard, since the cats were once used for hunting game. (An actual leopard is "pantera" in Spanish, although I think the French simply say "guepard" for the leopard.) Mountain lions, after all, are called "panthers" colloquially, or simply "lions", when they're really basically large and dangerous housecats; jaguars are called "tigres"--tigers--in some parts of South America to this day.

    Based on that, if faced with a foreign word for an animal I might know perfectly well in my own language, and being familiar with something called by that name in movies, I might make the same mistake. Of course, I'm making a large assumption out of context here. If this story took place north of the border and the lady was a 100% card-carrying Anglo from Peoria who presumably should know the word "cheetah" refers to a big, long-legged cat, well, that's a TRULY scary thought.

  3. I actually encounter this kind of translation problem a lot when reading news stories from various languages. I'm always reading about the "tigers" of South Africa and the "panthers" (sometimes meaning leopard, sometimes tiger) of India. In old books, I often read of the leopard and panther (not meaning tiger this time) as two separate species. And of course when I let Google do the translating, it's a comedy free-for-all.


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