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No golden monkeys from China for L.A. Zoo

June 11, 2009 | 11:41 am


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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