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Ganges River

Flowing through India and Bangladesh, the Ganges is most revered by followers of Hinduism. It is worshipped as a goddess known as Mother Ganga.  Over 2,500 kilometres in length, the Ganges supports around 400 million people.

Come up close to the water creatures of the Ganges at River Safari. Inspired by the temples along Mother Ganga, this exhibit features Indian gharials, a myriad of colourful fishes and other aquatic life, including the intriguing goonch catfish.

 

Indian Gharial

With its distinguishing elongated snout, believed to have evolved from its diet of small fishes...

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Indian Gharial

With its distinguishing elongated snout, believed to have evolved from its diet of small fishes, the Indian gharial has its origins traced as far back as the days of the dinosaurs.  While abundant in numbers in the 1940s, its population plummeted by a shocking 98 percent within three decades.  Intensive conservation efforts since the 1970s have snatched it from the jaws of extinction.  Still critically endangered today, it is estimated that there are less than 200 left in the wild so be sure not to miss this opportunity to marvel at this rare crocodilian. Because of its inability to move well on land, it prefers to spend most of its time in water, coming up on land only to bask or lay eggs.

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Frog-faced Softshell Turtle

Adjacent to the sandy shores of the Indian gharial lives the olive-brown turtle with a frog-like face...

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Frog-faced Softshell Turtle

Adjacent to the sandy shores of the Indian gharial lives the olive-brown turtle with a frog-like face, a broad head and short snout. This turtle leads a sedentary life, with 95 percent of its time spent buried and motionless with only its eyes and mouth protruding from the sand. Exploitation of its flesh for food and habitat loss has lead to population decline and today, the frog-faced softshell turtle is an endangered animal.

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Goonch Catfish

This carnivore that resides within the Ganges is also known as the giant devil catfish, due to its unique...

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Goonch Catfish

This carnivore that resides within the Ganges is also known as the giant devil catfish, due to its unique appearance. It has a broad head, abnormally shaped whiskers, and a very wide mouth filled with sharp backward pointing teeth, much like many sharks.  The goonch catfish has a mythical reputation of growing to a enormous sizes and believed by some to have attacked and eaten humans. It is a very powerful swimmer that moves upstream against very powerful currents in an annual spawning migration during the monsoon season.

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