In the 80’s she was illegally acquired by her previous owner, who exploited her, still being an infant, to take pictures with people in touristic areas on the Canary Islands.
When the authorities confiscated Cheeta from that individual, she was left in the voluntarily offered care and maintenance of the Oasis Park zoo in Fuerteventura. She remained there for the next 28 years, as they also work as the only rescue and rehabilitation centre on the island.
In July 2015 there was an unfortunate escape at the Oasis Park zoo and two of the three chimpanzees died during the escape, which left the only survivor, Cheeta, isolated and alone.
After careful evaluation the Administration of the park decided that living alone was not an adequate life for a chimpanzee, being a highly social animal. Striving to find the best solution for her, the zoo managers contacted Mona, in order to help her find a new family instead of living the rest of her life alone. In a generous gesture, the previous owners have committed to helping with cost of looking after Cheeta for life.
Cheeta impresses everybody who meets her, especially for her size. She is a very big chimpanzee, but she has a sweet and lovely face. In addition, she is a confident and extroverted chimpanzee. She places trust in her caregivers and in any new chimpanzees she meets. She greets everyone with great effusiveness.
GROUP AND SITUATION
Her one-on-one relationships with her group members are quite good, but she especially enjoys the presence and interaction with Coco, her best friend.
- She loves heights and she always chooses the highest hammock to rest.
- When she arrived she weighed over 90kg, but little by little she is getting back in shape.
- Her favourite food is lettuce.
- The day Cheeta met her future family; we saw games, hugs and kisses with all of them.
- Every time she sees a caregiver, she greets them enthusiastically.
- She is very quiet chimp, but if another chimpanzee is annoying her … she will defend herself.
She is part of the group we call the Bilinga. It´s a mixed sex group, currently consisting of 4 males and 3 females.