China Denies L.A. Zoo of Monkeys After Spending $7M on New Habitat

The Los Angeles Zoo will not get a trio of rare golden monkeys from China as promised, after the city spent more than $7 million to build them a new home and hired a feng shui expert to see that it was suitable.

City Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes the zoo, said Wednesday that withholding the monkeys "was a decision by the Chinese government and we're disappointed."

Then-mayor James Hahn went to China in 2002 seeking pandas for the zoo, but returned with the promise of the blue-faced, blond-haired monkeys as substitutes.

The special exhibit — which cost about $7.4 million — was designed to create the sense of a rural Chinese village.

Zoo Commission President Shelby Kaplan Sloan says the zoo will find other monkeys for the space that the public will find just as attractive.