The AP originally reported that the chimpanzee who played Cheetah in the 1930s Tarzan movies died at the age of 80 from kidney failure at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla.
But some believe this Cheetah is a cheat, and that the real ape died long ago.
"I'm afraid any chimp who actually shared a soundstage with Weissmuller and O'Sullivan is long gone," writer Richard Rosen told the AP in an email on Wednesday. Rosen debunked a previous claimant to the Cheetah legacy in 2008.
Debbie Cobb, outreach director at the Suncoast, defended the sanctuary's claim to be Cheetah's final resting place.
"We have nothing to prove. ... It cracks me up how ignorant some people are, but I think that causes controversy, and isn't that what it's all about? I mean, really. I think people like controversy," she told the New York Times.
But she doesn't have any documentation to back up her claim to Cheetah fame.
"Unfortunately, there was a fire in '95 in which a lot of that documentation burned up," Cobb told the AP.