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River Safari

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Title: River Safari  
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River Safari

Coordinates: 1°24′14″N 103°47′39″E / 1.403782°N 103.79414°E / 1.403782; 103.79414

River Safari
File:River Safari Logo.png
Date opened 29 November 2012 (Giant Panda Forest)
3 April 2013 (Soft opening)
Location Singapore
Land area 12 ha (30 acres)[1]
Number of animals 5000+[2]
Number of species 500+[2]
Website

The River Safari (Chinese: 河川生态园)is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Singapore. It is built over 12 hectares (30 acres) and nestles between its two counterparts, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari.[2] It is the first of its kind in Asia and comprise mainly freshwater attraction combined with river boat rides as its main highlights. The safari was built at a cost of S$160m with an expected visitor rate of 820,000 people yearly.[3]

The Giant Panda Forest opened to public on 29 November 2012,[4] with a soft opening on 3 April 2013, attracting close to 1,500 visitors.[5] This attraction is the fourth zoo in Singapore, along with the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, and Night Safari, all of which are managed by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Construction

Conceptualization of such as River Safari began in early 2007, and its construction was officially announced to the public on 11 February 2009 with an estimated completion date of late 2011.[6] The project began with an estimated budget of S$140 million as well as an annual visitor rate of 750,000,[6] however since the original announcement in 2009 the budget has since increased by S$20 million in 2010, due to rising construction costs, to S$160 million and the annual visitor rate has also increased to 820,000.[7]

The park is built within the current 89-hectare (220-acre) compound already shared by the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari[6] and occupies 12 hectares (30 acres), making it the smallest of the three parks.[3]

Attractions

The park boasts a tropical rainforest setting[7] along with as river theme with various animal attractions, theme park rides and other major exhibits.

Animal exhibits

The park consists of a total of 10 different ecosystems around the world, including the River Nile, Yangtze River, Mississippi, Amazon as well as the Tundra. It features over 5000 animals and 500 species including numerous endangered species, these include the anacondas, electric eels,[7] Mekong freshwater stingrays, manatees, the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish,[2] giant pandas,[7] gharials, Chinese alligators as well as a pair of Japanese raccoon dog who are part of an exchange program with the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaidō, Japan.[8]

Giant pandas

One of the main attractions is a pair of male and female giant pandas – Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉)[9] – which are housed in a specially constructed climate-controlled enclosure which change throughout the four seasons emulating their original environment.[10] The zoo grows its own 8,000-square-metre (86,000 sq ft) plantation of special bamboo specially for the feeding of the giant pandas. These pandas are a sign of the twentieth anniversary of friendly Sino-Singapore relations. The park also received a conservation donation from CapitaLand.[11] The names of the 2 Pandas were selected from entries of a public naming competition organised in 2010.[12] The pandas, which arrived on September 2012, are on a ten year loan from China.[13]

Frozen Tundra

The Frozen Tundra is a 1,400-square-metre (15,000 sq ft) exhibit which houses the polar bears, Sheba (died on 15 November 2012 at the age of 35) and Inuka who were previously located at the Singapore Zoo.[2] The exhibit is three and a half times larger than their current exhibit and also features climate-control features simulating the Arctic. The exhibit also features three viewing elevations for visitors to see the polar bears including an underwater view. It is to educate visitors on the importance of glaciers as well as semi-frozen freshwater ecosystems which is one of the most threatened of the world's biomes.[14]

The exhibit was conceptualised after a study in 2006 determined that it was the best for the polar bears to remain in Singapore due to their familiarity with their current level of care. Other key features of the exhibit include "ice rocks: where the polar bears can lie on top of frozen rocks as well as an ice cave which are produced by a large freezer unit dedicated to produce blocks of ice for the bears.

Theme park rides

The park features two major theme park rides – white water rafting as well as a boat ride.[6][7] The white water rafting attraction features Malayan tigers as its main animal attraction while the Amazon slow boat ride features over 20 species of animals from the Amazon River.[7] Both the white water rafting and slow boat ride will only be open for visitors near the end of 2013.[15]

See also

External links

  • Official website
  • River Safari Highlights Video

References

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