HAND-RAISED BABY MANATEE CANOLA WINS HEARTS AT RIVER SAFARI

Aquarists provide round-the-clock care for abandoned calf Canola and re-introduce her to manatee family

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 April 2015 – The 33kg abandoned calf in River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest had to be watched 24 hours for the first few days, fed every two to three hours during the first three months, and re-introduced gradually to its family – a Herculean task that the team of aquarists dived into to give the baby, named Canola, a fighting chance to live.

Born on 6 August last year, Canola is the offspring of the Flooded Forest’s largest manatee – 23-year-old Eva which measures 3.5m and weighs more than 1,100kg. For unknown reasons, Eva abandoned her latest calf despite having successfully raised eight offspring in the past. Eva is also a proud grandmother of two.

To ensure that animals in River Safari retain their parental behaviours, zoologists strive to have the parents raise their offspring. In the case of Canola, there was no other option but to have aquarists hand-raise the newborn.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Mr Wah Yap Hon, Curator, Zoology, River Safari, said: “Hand-raised animals tend to imprint on their human caregivers. The babies will attach themselves to, and learn certain behaviours from their human foster parents, and may not have a chance to bond with their family or other members of their species. In the case of Eva and Canola, we stepped in as a last resort to ensure the survival of this precious baby.”

Similar to caring for a human baby, hand-raising an animal baby requires planning and hard work. For Canola, it involved bottle-feeding every two to three hours from 8am to 10pm daily for the first three months. To increase her fat intake and substitute her mother’s highly nutritious milk, Canola was given a special milk formula infused with canola oil, which inspired her name. To ensure Canola’s safety, the aquarists moved her to a shallow holding pool to minimise the risk of other manatees crowding her and making it challenging for her to rise to the water’s surface to breathe.

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

“Under the doting care and great team effort of her human caregivers, Canola steadily gained weight and hit all the important developmental milestones of a healthy calf. By December, Canola started swimming with the rest of the herd in the main aquarium, forming close bonds with her species,” said Wah.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Since February, Canola’s caregivers have gradually cut down on her milk intake to four feedings a day to accommodate her increasing diet of vegetables. Manatees spend six to eight hours a day grazing on aquatic plants, which is why they are also known as sea cows. Adults typically consume 50-100kg of vegetation a day, equivalent to 10-15 percent of their body weight.

Manatees are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to hunting pressures, entrapment in commercial nets and collisions with propellers and motorboats. Through captive breeding, River Safari hopes to contribute to the population of threatened freshwater species such as the manatee. Canola’s birth is an important one as it contributes to the captive populations of manatees in zoological institutions.

Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

River Safari’s manatee herd of 12 comprises five males and seven females, making it one of the largest collections of manatees among zoological institutions. These slow-moving mammals can be found swimming gracefully amongst giant trees alongside other aquatic species, such as the arapaima and red-tailed catfish, in the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest.

* IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

GET DRESSED FOR TRICK-OR-TREAT FUN AT RIVER SAFARI’S FIRST SAFARI BOO

Kids enjoy merry-not-scary festivities for free at River Safari from 6pm

Safari Boo visual

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2014 – This October, River Safari invites all little ones to join Singapore’s wildest trick-or-treat event – Safari Boo – for free! Dress the kids in their favourite costumes for an enchanting night with mythical creatures, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations, and up-close encounters with river monsters at twilight.

Held over five days on Oct 22, 25, 26 & Nov 1 and 2, Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). The park will be transformed with colourful decoration, trick-or-treat trails, illuminated displays and a parade of fantastical characters such as the mermaid and unicorn. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm* and are encouraged to come dressed in fun (not scary) costumes and stand a chance to win in a costume contest. To get into the festive spirit, even Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots will be decked out in their Safari Boo outfit.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Safari Boo is an all-new event for families with children to have a fun and educational time at River Safari. Through the exciting programme line-up and hands-on activities, we hope visitors will have a memorable adventure in the park and learn a thing or two about wildlife.”

As part of the festivities at Safari Boo, the Giant Panda Courtyard will be home to a myriad of activity stations, including one where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales.

Meet a friendly witch and Frankenstein himself, who will introduce various creatures of the night and charm visitors with stories in River Talk: Myths and Legends. This special animal presentation features up-close encounters with snakes, bearded dragons and creepy-crawlies, and is a purr-fect opportunity for kids (and even adults) to get over their phobias and educate others against developing fears of these misunderstood creatures.

Those bone on the wild side will love the after-dark experience at River Safari where they will get to observe the behaviours of river monsters such as the powerful arapaima and colossal giant freshwater stingray. Visitors can also find out more about creatures with blood-thirsty reputation such as the leech and tick, and even get a chance to feel the fangs of the vampire bat!

Safari Boo features daytime festivities where animals will indulge in special pumpkins filled with their favourite treats! Catch the cute antics of giant pandas, red pandas and squirrel monkeys as they chomp, dig and crunch their way through the festive treats as a form of enrichment. Visitors can also embark on a guided trail to learn freaky facts about the river monsters that roam in the park.

Squirrel monkeys indulging in pumpkin treats as part of Safari Boo

Safari Boo event tickets (6pm to 9pm) are priced at $15 for adults. Last admission is at 8pm. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm*. Visitors with River Safari admission tickets can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.

For more information, refer to the Appendix below or visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo

*Terms and conditions apply.

Appendix

1. ADMISSION

Safari Boo activity days:

  • 22 Oct (Wed, Deepavali)
  • 25 Oct (Sat)
  • 26 Oct (Sun)
  • 1 Nov (Sat)
  • 2 Nov 2014 (Sun)

admission

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Activities are weather-permitting.
  • Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm. Last admission is at 8pm.
  • The Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and boat rides will be closed as per normal opening times at River Safari and will not be opened for Safari Boo.
  • River Safari and Park Hopper (with River Safari option) admission ticket holders can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.
  • Safari Boo ticket holders can only enter the park from 6pm.
  • River Safari & Park Hopper admission tickets and Safari Boo event tickets can be purchased at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters or at www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo.
  • Sale of Safari Boo tickets at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters starts at 5pm.
  • Adult supervision is required for all kids participating in Safari Boo. Child is defined as individuals aged 12 years and below.
  • Complimentary tickets for kids to enter for free from 6pm can be collected by accompanying adults at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters from 5pm.
  • For online purchases, all complimentary child ticket redemptions must be accompanied by at least one paid adult event ticket per transaction.

2. ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

activities

RIVER SAFARI LAUNCHES INAUGURAL BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS FOR VISITORS

– Two exclusive programmes launched in June to take visitors on learning journeys.

Singapore, 14 May 2014 – For the first time, visitors can have a glimpse of the inner workings of River Safari with the launch of two new behind-the-scenes programmes. Titled Fishy Business and Be a Panda Researcher, these programmes are packed with hands-on experiences that present a unique perspective on Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and its animal residents.

Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.
Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Panda fans can learn more about the park’s famous residents, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, as well as their wild cousins in Be a Panda Researcher. Through a series of investigative tasks at various activity stations, participants will get down and dirty to ‘dissect’ panda poo and appreciate the hard work that goes into meeting Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s special dietary needs. By examining paw prints and other markings, they will also gain insights into how researchers track pandas in the wild and implement conservation measures to save these endangered bears from extinction.

Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.
Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Those game for some Fishy Business can venture deep into the underbelly of the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit and discover what the aquarists do to keep the animal residents in the pink of health. Participants will explore the massive life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, conduct water tests and prepare food and enrichment for river giants such as the manatees and arapaimas. The finale to the programme is a visual spectacle of the silver arowana, also known as the water monkey, leaping out of the water to strike at its prey during special feeding sessions.

Ms May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Many a times visitors are curious about our work, and our team is also eager to share the passion and joy in the day-to-day care for our 6000 animals. Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business are the first behind-the-scenes tours in River Safari we have curated for the public. We hope visitors who participate in these programmes will walk away with a deeper understanding on the park and its animal residents, and a greater appreciation of freshwater ecosystems.”

Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business programmes are each available at S$39 for adults and S$29 for children, inclusive of River Safari admission*. Be a Panda Researcher can accommodate a maximum of 60 people while Fishy Business can accommodate a maximum of 30. Both tours are recommended for children 9 years and above. Reservations can be made online at http://education.riversafari.com.sg/whatshap.html. The two programmes are launched in commemoration of 50 years of tourism development and promotions in Singapore.

*Admission does not include Amazon River Quest boat ride.

ENJOY AN EGGY DAY OUT IN JURONG BIRD PARK

Weekend carnival hosts behind-the-scenes tours, celebrity tours, photographic trails and egg hunt. Kids receive 50% off admission.

A salmon-crested cockatoo chick at Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding & Research Centre, whom visitors will get to name in Game for a Name, part of the gamut of activities during Eggy Day Out.
A salmon-crested cockatoo chick at Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding & Research Centre, whom visitors will get to name in Game for a Name, part of the gamut of activities during Eggy Day Out.

Singapore, 10 April 2014 – To commemorate 50 years of tourism development and promotions in Singapore and to thank Singaporeans for their support, Jurong Bird Park hatches the inaugural Eggy Day Out from 18-20 April for Singapore residents to discover little known aspects of the park.

The Eggy Day Out carnival weekend features a plethora of eggs-periential activities, including:

  • Lory Loft Behind-the-Scenes Tour which highlights the colourful lories and how their unique feed is prepared.
  • Memories Trail, led by Jurong Bird Park’s General Manager who will bring participants down memory lane and share how the park has evolved through his 38-year experience as a veteran.
  • Junior Eggs-pert Tour that showcases how eggs are incubated and a bird’s life stages at the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC).
  • Celebrity Eggs-cursion, in which personalities like MediaCorp Artistes Bryan Wong, MediaCorp Class 95FM DJ Glenn Ong, MediaCorp Gold 90.5FM DJ The Flying Dutchman and MediaCorp Love 97.2FM DJ Leelian Chua will lead tours at Waterfall Aviary / South East Asian Birds Aviary.
As part of Eggs-periment during Jurong Bird Park’s Eggy Day Out, participants will learn about the floating egg phenomenon, amongst other fun scientific experiments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
As part of Eggs-periment during Jurong Bird Park’s Eggy Day Out, participants will learn about the floating egg phenomenon, amongst other fun scientific experiments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

To top it all, children between the ages of 3-12 years will enjoy 50% discount on admission tickets during Eggy Day Out by flashing a coupon that can be downloaded from www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout between 10-20 April. In addition to this, holders of Feather Friends, Friends of Night Safari, Friends of River Safari and Friends of the Zoo membership cards are entitled to five complimentary child admission tickets when they purchase up to five adult tickets from 18-20 April.

Over at River Safari, the park is introducing two behind-the-scenes tours:

  • Fishy Business, a brand new tour which showcases the complex life support systems in the Amazon Flooded Forest.
  • Be a Panda Researcher, where visitors learn to identify panda tracks and examine panda poo and paw prints, and discover ways we can save them from extinction.

Those hungry for more can head to Singapore Zoo for Animals in the Pink, which offers a peek into the park’s Central Kitchen and world-class animal hospital or Spineless & Successful, where visitors will discover how breeding and maintenance work is conducted for butterflies, scorpions, stick insects and other invertebrates.

Activity details (Jurong Bird Park)
All activities are free of charge unless otherwise stated. Registration is needed for some activities at www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout or at the Activities Registration Booth at Penguin Coast. Park admission charges apply.

Activity details (River Safari)

Activity details (Singapore Zoo)

For more information about Eggy Day Out and the discounts, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout.

AMAZON RIVER QUEST BOAT RIDE IN RIVER SAFARI OPENS TO PUBLIC

– Visitors on slow boat ride can enjoy up-close encounters with close to 30 animal species, including three that have never been seen in Singapore.

All on board now: Visitors on the Amazon River Quest will come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat). PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
All on board now: Visitors on the Amazon River Quest will come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat). PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 7 December 2013 – Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park River Safari achieves the final milestone with the opening of the Amazon River Quest boat ride today.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The launch of the Amazon River Quest completes River Safari, and offers our visitors a new immersive channel into the world of animals that depend on the Amazon River for survival. We are thrilled to welcome visitors on this river expedition, and hope that they will gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of animals, plants and rivers, and be inspired to protect fragile freshwater habitats.”

All on board now: Visitors on the Amazon River Quest will come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat). PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
All on board now: Visitors on the Amazon River Quest will come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat). PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Visitors can plunge into a thematic exploration at the mysterious rainforest of the Amazon and come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary, and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat).

The slow boat ride, which lasts between 12 to 15 minutes, is the final attraction to open at River Safari, Singapore’s newest family lifestyle destination. The 483m-long ride is designed to simulate an open-top boat voyage down the Amazon River featuring land and arboreal animals in naturalistic habitats with lush vegetation. Visitors will see various species of monkeys swinging through tree tops, brightly-coloured birds fluttering in a flight aviary, and be transported into a dark cave which is home to South America’s largest wild cat – the jaguar.

The Amazon River Quest is part of the park’s Wild Amazonia zone which showcases the rich biodiversity in the Amazon basin. The two other habitats in this zone are the Squirrel Monkey Forest, a walk-through exhibit home to over 40 free-ranging squirrel monkeys, and the Amazon Flooded Forest which simulates the annual flooding of the Amazon rainforest with manatees and arapaimas swimming amongst giant trees.

Visitors can embark on the Amazon River Quest from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Boat ride safety regulations apply. For more information, visit http://www.riversafari.com.sg/wild-amazonia/amazon-river-quest.html

Tickets will continue to be priced at a discounted rate of S$25 (adult), S$16 (child between 3-12 years) and $12.50 (local senior citizens 60 years and above). Park admission will eventually be priced at S$35 (adult), S$23 (child between 3-12 years), and $17.50 (local senior citizens 60 years and above).

RIVER SAFARI SOFT OPENING FROM 3 APRIL

Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park to feature rare and endangered animals from eight iconic river habitats; boat rides to be ready at a later date.

Singapore, 25 March 2013 – From 3 April, visitors can look forward to discovering the exotic wildlife found in eight iconic river habitats with the soft opening of River Safari.

The 12-ha River Safari is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks and will showcase animals from freshwater habitats inspired by eight of the world’s iconic rivers including the Mississippi, Nile, Mekong, Yangtze and Amazon rivers. The park will be home to over 150 plant species and 5,000 animal specimens representing 300 animal species, including one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater animals.

Among the unique aquatic and terrestrial animals featured in the park are endangered river giants such as the Giant Salamander, Giant Freshwater Stingray and Mekong Giant Catfish. River Safari is the only park in Asia to feature the Giant River Otter, the world’s largest otter that can grow up to 1.8 metres.

The highlight of the Mekong River zone is a 3m-tall aquarium with a large underwater view of megafishes such as the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish and giant freshwater stingray.
The highlight of the Mekong River zone is a 3m-tall aquarium with a large underwater view of megafishes such as the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish and giant freshwater stingray.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We look forward to welcoming visitors to River Safari and bringing them up-close to the fascinating wildlife that live in river habitats, which are disappearing faster than forest and marine environments. As the first and only river-themed wildlife park in Asia, River Safari aims to highlight the importance of freshwater ecosystems and inspire positive actions for conserving them. In addition, we also seek to play a part in global captive breeding programmes for endangered freshwater species.”

During the soft opening phase, visitors can walk through River Safari’s freshwater galleries and immersive exhibits, including the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest and the Giant Panda Forest. The park’s boat rides will not be available until later this year as they are undergoing technical adjustments.

The world's largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest showcases a surreal world of manatees, fishes and other creatures swimming amongst giant trees, created every year during the rainy season when the river rises 30 to 40 feet.
The world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest showcases a surreal world of manatees, fishes and other creatures swimming amongst giant trees, created every year during the rainy season when the river rises 30 to 40 feet.

River Safari opens daily from 9am to 6pm and tickets will be priced at S$35 (Adult), S$23 (Child between 3-12 years), and $17.50 (Senior citizen above 60 years). As the boat rides and some exhibits will not be ready until a later date, daily admission (refer to Appendix attached) during the soft opening phase will be priced at a discounted rate of S$25 (Adult), S$16 (Child between 3-12 years) and $12.50 (Senior citizen above 60 years). Visitors can purchase tickets at Singapore Zoo and River Safari’s ticket booth. River Safari extends free admission to beneficiaries of selected programmes by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (details on http://www.riversafari.com.sg).

From 3 April, visitors planning to see the giant pandas can do so only via River Safari. The current giant panda preview, which visitors pay a top-up fee in addition to Singapore Zoo admission ticket, will end on 31 March. Both pandas are housed at the Yangtze River zone that features the Yangtze alligator and the world’s largest amphibian – the Chinese giant salamander.

The highlight of the Yangtze River zone is the Giant Panda Forest – the largest panda exhibit in South East Asia – home to giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia.
The highlight of the Yangtze River zone is the Giant Panda Forest – the largest panda exhibit in South East Asia – home to giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

River Safari is designed and developed with the utmost concern for the environment, especially the Mandai Nature Reserve area where the park is situated. The park brings together the best in zoological architecture and design, with state-of-the-art exhibit artistry and technology to provide visitors with an immersive experience into the world of rivers and the landscapes they support. River Safari is the first attraction in Singapore to be conferred with the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award in the park category.

More information can be found on www.riversafari.com.sg.

MANATEES MOVE INTO WORLD’S LARGEST FRESHWATER AQUARIUM AT RIVER SAFARI

Gentle giants to be showcased at Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit.

Singapore, 13 March 2013 – Seven manatees were the first residents to move into the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit.

A team comprising more than 20 zookeepers and veterinarians took two days to move the seven manatees – including two calves – from Singapore Zoo to their new home at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. The new exhibit showcases the annual flooding of the Amazon rainforest where fish and other creatures swim amongst giant trees. The manatees’ home at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium is four times bigger than their previous exhibit at Singapore Zoo.

Manatees are large, slow-moving aquatic mammals that can be found in coastal waters and rivers. They spend six to eight hours a day grazing on aquatic plants, which is why they are also known as sea cows. Adults typically consume 50-100kg of vegetation a day (equivalent to 10-15 percent of their body weight). Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, manatee numbers have declined throughout the last century due to hunting pressures and entrapment in commercial fishing nets. These gentle giants are often accidentally hit by motorboats.

Through captive breeding, River Safari hopes to contribute to the population of endangered freshwater species such as the manatee. The park now holds one of the largest collections of manatees among ISIS^ institutions with eleven manatees in total.

Keepers and consultants position a canvas sheet underneath a 21-year-old female manatee in preparation for her move. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.
Keepers and consultants position a canvas sheet underneath a 21-year-old female manatee in preparation for her move. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.
Keepers securing the canvas and ropes before hoisting Eva, a 21-year-old manatee. At over 1,100 kilogrammes, Eva is the heaviest manatee in the park. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.
Keepers securing the canvas and ropes before hoisting Eva, a 21-year-old manatee. At over 1,100 kilogrammes, Eva is the heaviest manatee in the park. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.
More than 20 zookeepers and veterinarians were involved in moving a 21-year-old female manatee named Eva, which weighs over 1,100 kilograms. The female manatee was one of the first manatees to arrive at Singapore Zoo in 1994. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.
More than 20 zookeepers and veterinarians were involved in moving a 21-year-old female manatee named Eva, which weighs over 1,100 kilograms. The female manatee was one of the first manatees to arrive at Singapore Zoo in 1994. She and 10 others will be housed in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the soon-to-be-opened River Safari.

*IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature
^ISIS – International Species Information System