a little update on the rigo the gorilla situation - the ape grottoes have been closed off to the public to allow rigo to utilise all the grottoes without being on display (that said he wasn't given access to them all when i was there, he was in the same ****** one on the far left as always. if they are going to continue to used them for the time being (and i cant see them demolishing them anytime soon and probably not in poor rigo's lifetime) then the very least they can do is finally do a refurbishment to improve the life of the lone last inmate.. i feel like starting a "free rigo" campaign. overall the zoo was noisy and gave me a headache. i understand the screaming primary school kids, i'll even tolerate pimplefaced smelly highschoolers screaming jokes about monkeys arses in an attempt to woo some metal-mouthed giggling twat of a girl. but the "doof doof" rap music that echoed from whatever dumb function was taking place in the middle of the zoo was enought to piss me off and make me leave. the elephants and orangs was same as always. the gardens had grown a bit whih was nice. almost all of the transplanted palms however certainly looked like the dought had taken its toll. many of them have definately died. its amazing how many extra large palms i have seen transplanted around melbourne zoo over the years only to die within a few months. either this is just a reflection of the usual success rate with transplanting palms or the melbourne zoo horticulture department have a knack for killing them off. suffice to say the drought certainly hasn't helped. my favorite was the demolished palm in the macaw aviary. what a waste!! i reserve my judgement...for now. the elephants had virtually no grass anymore. the grass had actually held up rather well until the new arrivals. the waterfall and moat in the orang exhibit has obviously been fixed as it was full and in operation. apparently the old elephant exhibit is being used for bird shows. its been grassed and transplanted palms (looks like they actually bothered to water these ones though) and garden beds have made it look all pretty. however this happened AGES ago and to this day i haven't seen a single bird show in effect, nor are the times of such advertised anywere such as on the zoo map. the tamarins have been given a buffer garden and railing between them and the path. which is good since i had observed many a teenager getting far too close and swealing their heads off at the poor primates while stuffing their faces with dim sims. the tapir exhibit has had trees planted at the viewing point, making it very clear the malayan tapir exhibit is closed for good. all in all it was a pretty negative visit. i still think overall the zoo is a great zoo. i think overall the animals are well cared for and in decent exhibits. the gardens are mostly lush and green. but the downside to all this money being poured into mega-exhibits such as the asian rainforest and soon-to-be-built seal exhibit is that decades pass with virtually not even a refurb for other inhabitats. whilst i understand that the seals definately are in desperate need of a new pool and i guess every zoo has its ugly points - i'm personally starting to get bored of seeing that empty weed-infested pygmy hippo exhibit, those sustandard ape grottoes and smelling those stinky, rusted concrete baboon cages.