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No golden monkeys from China for L.A. Zoo


The golden hair monkeys from China that the Los Angeles Zoo has long been waiting for will not be arriving.

After years of waiting for the exotic animals -- part of a deal struck during a trip to China in 2002 by then-Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, pictured -- zoo director John Lewis was informed last month that the transfer would not take place. The monkeys' relocation had long been mired in the delicate panda politics between the U.S. and China, something beyond the L.A. Zoo's control.

"We're obivously disappointed, but the negotiations with China -- it just didn't happen," said Jason Jacobs, zoo spokesman. "They said no, and we're going to Plan B."

The zoo had prepared a new pavilion exhibit with aviary-type mesh and bamboo vegetation. Plan B is to create a mixed-species habitat, an increasingly popular approach for exhibiting animals.

The zoo hopes to bring in Asian primates -- particularly leaf-eating monkeys called langurs -- to cohabitate with miniature deer and pheasants. The zoo hopes to have its animals in place and the exhibit ready to debut in the fall.

--Carla Hall

Photo credits, from left: BBC; Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (2)

So the Los Angeles Zoo spends $7 million taxpayers dollars to build an elaborate Golden Monkey exhibit, based on just a "promise." And now they can't get the monkeys. And let's not forget that they spent additional money to hire a feng shui expert to evaluate the habitat.

No wonder the City is in a deficit! Whatever happened to securing a signed agreement, prior to spending millions of dollars for construction?

Now that's what I call REAL MONKEY BUSINESS.

I think China needs to step up here. What happened to integrity and honest business practices. Clearly this person from China that entered into this agreement with the Zoo was empowered by the Chinese government to do so. The Chinese government should stand behind this agreement.


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