RIVER SAFARI CELEBRATES OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING

– Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park houses 6000 animal specimens from over 200 species. Latest WRS attraction set to enhance wildlife experience in Mandai.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated at the Grand Opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park on 28 February 2014, and is seen here with Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang, both symbolically rowing the boat forward for River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated at the Grand Opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park on 28 February 2014, and is seen here with Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang, both symbolically rowing the boat forward for River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 28 February 2014 – Mandai, an area synonymous with Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, has become even more wild today with the much-anticipated official opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park.

River Safari is the latest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks, which includes Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, and Singapore Zoo. With a unique focus on freshwater habitats, the park adds a new dimension to the wildlife experience in Singapore.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, officiated the grand opening before 300 guests.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong together with Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry having an up-close encounter with a Brazilian tapir along the Amazon River Quest on 28 February 2014, at the Grand Opening of River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong together with Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry having an up-close encounter with a Brazilian tapir along the Amazon River Quest on 28 February 2014, at the Grand Opening of River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We are very proud today to officially introduce River Safari to the world. From conceptualisation and design to construction and completion, River Safari represents our dedication to conserve wildlife, our commitment to educate the public about threats to freshwater habitats, and our passion to create an enriching and fun recreational venue for visitors all over the world.”

The journey to creating Asia’s first and only river-themed park started with an idea to create a freshwater aquarium to complement the offerings of Singapore Zoo. This spark evolved and gave rise to River Safari.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admires the gracefulness of the endangered giant river otters at Amazon Flooded Forest as they swim by, during River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admires the gracefulness of the endangered giant river otters at Amazon Flooded Forest as they swim by, during River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Today, the 12-ha River Safari offers visitors a wildlife adventure inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers, including the Amazon, Ganges, Mekong, Nile and Yangtze rivers. Built at a cost of $160 million, River Safari houses one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna. To date, the park features 6,000 animal specimens representing 200 species, of which 40 are threatened. These include river giants and mega fishes such as the giant river otter, giant freshwater stingray, Mekong giant catfish and Singapore’s very own pair of resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

WRS parks are world-renowned for their open concept exhibit design, and with River Safari, the team pushed the boundaries further and created a park that would provide visitors with an unforgettable adventure through the world’s most iconic rivers.

Manatees and River Safari’s team of aquarists at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium in Amazon Flooded Forest, thanking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for gracing River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Manatees and River Safari’s team of aquarists at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium in Amazon Flooded Forest, thanking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for gracing River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“The park has been well-received since we opened the Giant Panda Forest in Nov 2012, and our soft opening in Apr 2013. We have already welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors from all over the world and this shows that visitors are curious about the world of river habitats. We feel positive that River Safari has a huge role to play in satisfying this hunger for knowledge about freshwater inhabitants,” said Ms Chiang.

When visiting River Safari, visitors can look forward to interactive and digital educational interpretives, discovery stations where visitors can learn more about animals and freshwater conservation issues and behind-the-scene tours which provide a clearer glimpse into the world these animals live in.

River Safari opens daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm and tickets are priced at S$25 (adult), S$16 (child between 3-12 years) and $12.00 (local senior citizens 60 years and above). From 5 March 2014, tickets to the Amazon River Quest boat ride will be priced at S$5 (adult) and S$3 (child).

For more information, please log on to www.riversafari.com.sg

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE BUILDS RIVER SAFARI, ASIA’S FIRST RIVER-THEMED ANIMAL ATTRACTION

S$140 MILLION PROJECT SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION IN 2011

Singapore, February 11, 2009Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) plans to build a river-themed animal attraction that will contribute to Singapore’s tourism landscape and enhance the range of excellent nature-themed attractions in Singapore.

Located within the 89-hectare compound of the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari premises, this attraction will be Asia’s first river-themed park. Comprising boat rides, displays of freshwater habitats and other highlights, it will offer a close-up multi-sensory experience for the young and old.

The project is expected to inject S$140 million into Singapore’s economy. Construction will begin in 2009, and the park is targeted for completion in 2011. The new park is estimated to attract at least 750,000 visitors annually.

Strong message of conservation
Says Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, “The aim of River Safari is to create a greater awareness of freshwater habitat conservation. Freshwater habitats are ecosystems that depend on water flow for their environmental health, and can include caves, swamps, floodplains, rivers and lakes. The term ‘wetlands’ is often used to describe these rich habitats, which carry the most species per unit. However, their biodiversity is disappearing at a faster rate than the forest and marine biomes, with a reported 50% decline in the freshwater species population index in 30 years since 1970. The River Safari attraction will educate visitors on the conservation of fresh water habitats, and also introduce them to the ecosystem’s interesting water wildlife. It will also complement our current collection at our other three parks.

“We started working on this idea about two years ago and we believe this is an opportune time to embark on this project.”

Built with Environmental Sensitivity
As the attraction is located within its current 89 hectare compound, the new development will have minimal impact on the Mandai Nature Reserve area. WRS team had earlier consulted the various government bodies such as NParks and PUB on the environmental viability of the project. For example, it carried out a survey to identify the trees that will be affected by the development. Instead of felling the trees, it is carefully preparing the process of relocating them. In addition to this, WRS plans to plant more than 30,000 new trees in this attraction. Some of the current animal exhibits will be relocated to make way for this attraction. WRS will also acquire new species of animals to reside in the various habitats through animal exchange programmes with other zoological institutions.