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