Beginning April 3, visitors can look forward to discovering exotic wildlife found in eight iconic river habitats – including the Mississippi, Nile, Mekong, Yangtze and Amazon rivers – through the soft opening of River Safari. Visitors will be able to walk through River Safari’s freshwater galleries and engrossing exhibits during the soft opening phase. Some of these exhibits include the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest and the Giant Panda Forest.

However, the park’s boat rides will be unavailable until later in 2013 as they are still undergoing technical adjustments.

The 12-hectare River Safari is the latest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks. The park will house over 150 plant species and 5,000 animal specimens representing 300 animal species.

Some of the sui generis aquatic and terrestrial animals featured in the park are endangered river giants such as the Giant Salamander, Giant Freshwater Stingray and Mekong Giant Catfish.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore chairman Ms Claire Chiang said that they look forward to welcoming visitors to River Safari; bringing them up-close to the fascinating wildlife that inhabit river habitats, which happen to be disappearing fsater 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,” she added.

Admission to River Safari is daily from 9am to 6pm. Prices during the soft opening phase will be S$25 for adults, S$16 for a child between 3 and 12 years old and S$12.50 for senior citizens above 60 years of age.

Beginning April 3, visitors planning to see the giant pandas can do so only via River Safari. Both pandas are housed at the Yangtze River zone. The current giant panda preview; which visitors pay a top-up fee in addition to the Singapore Zoo admission ticket, will end on March 31.