A Russian friend of mine claims that the word "чита" can mean "small monkey". She thinks that it might be a colloquialism, but she cannot recall its etymology. I believe she has been using it since childhood (50+ years ago), so it may be an archaism. I can't seem to find any references of this usage online, however, other than perhaps the fact that there was a Chimpanzee named Cheeta, famous for having appeared in the Tarzan movies from the 1930s through the 1960s, who is referred to in the Russian media as "чита".
Is my friend using this word erroneously? If not, what is the etymology of this odd usage?