Cheetah-Mike, a well loved chimp who was one of the main attractions at Palm Harbor's Suncoast Primate Sanctuary died from kidney failure Dec. 24. Cheetah-Mike was in his 80s.
The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary made the announcement about Cheetah's death on the organization's Facebook page Tuesday afternoon:
"It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member on December 24, 2011. Cheetah, star of the Tarzan films, passed away after kidney failure during the week of December 19, 2011. The Sanctuary's residents and volunteers would like to thank all of the community members for their continued support as the Sanctuary continues to expand on the legacy and foundation Cheetah continues to oversee as he watches over his supporters, friends, and family."
Shortly after the announcement was made, Cheetah's fans began to leave their condolences on the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Facebook page.
Judy Eddy wrote, "so sorry for the loss of another one of Gods creatures He will be missed I vist often with my grand daughter Jordyn"
Adria Bernstein says, "My heart goes out to you and all of those whose lives he touched! May he be at peace and full of love, up above :)"
Amelia Bigler Miller wrote, "R.I.P. Cheetah, so glad that I got to see you a couple of times, such a great primate he was and so entertaining."
From Danielle Kuehner, "R.I.P big boy. i love you"
Jodi Welling Austin wrote, "I'll never forgetting hearing him from the other side of the farm playing basketball. He could dribble a mean ball. So glad I just saw Cheetah recently, as did my daughter for the first time. RIP and hugs to Debby."
Elena Louvros wrote, "Oh my heart breaks a little each time an animal passes away. Honored that I was able to see Cheetah several times over the years....even back in the day of the 'Chimp Farm' years...Thank you, Sanctuary, for letting this sweet boy live out his years under your compassionate care."
Debbie Cobb, Outreach Coordinator at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary says she had known Cheetah for most of her life. Her grandparents owned the sanctuary and brought Cheetah to live there in the 1960s. She shared her memories of Cheetah with Palm Harbor Patch, recalling what it was like to meet the chimp for the first time when she was five years-old. Cobb was with Cheetah Saturday when he died.
Cheetah wrote about his life at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in his blog on Palm Harbor Patch. You can read Cheetah's blogs here:
- Cheetah the Blogging Chimp
- SPS Cribs (aka: Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Cribs)
- Keeping up with the Caregivers
- Extreme Makeover: Sanctuary Edition
- Blogging Chimp's Latest Work: No Ordinary Troop
The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation of Palm Harbor is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers. The sanctuary cares for primates and other animals from a variety of backgrounds: some were rescued from abusive situations or were circus performers, and others were pets who could no longer be cared for by their owners.
Do you have a favorite memory of Cheetah? You're invited to share it in the comments section below.