Reliance Industries is all set build world’s largest zoo in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The zoo will house close to 100 different species of animals, birds and reptiles from India and across the world.
According to the reports, the plan to build a zoo at Jamnagar is the pet project of Anant Ambani, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son. The zoo will be built on about 280 acres of land close to Reliance Industries’ refinery project at Moti Khavdi near Jamnagar, the largest oil refining complex in the world.
Parimal Nathwani, who is the RIL director, said the zoo will be called ‘Greens Zoological, Rescue & Rehabilitation Kingdom’. He added that they have obtained all the required approvals from concerned central and state government authorities. The zoo is expected to be open for the public in the next two years. Earlier, the project faced delays due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The layout for the zoo has already been approved by the Central Zoo Authority, and the same has been made available at the authority’s website. “The Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted along with the Master (Layout) Plan for the proposed establishment of the Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom at Jamnagar, Gujarat by Reliance Industries Limited was approved by the 33rd Meeting of the Central Zoo Authority held on February 12, 2019,” the CZA website said.
The zoo will have sections like ‘Forest of India’, ‘Frog House’, ‘Insect Life’, ‘Dragon’s Land’, ‘Exotic Island’, ‘Wild Trail of Gujarat’ and ‘Aquatic Kingdom’ among others, as per the plan layout shared on the Central Zoo Authority’s website.
Zoo to house several species, frog house and aquatic kingdom to be built
The zoo will house various species, including barking deers, slender loris, sloth bears, fishing cats, komodo dragons, Indian wolves and Rosy pelicans. Crowned cranes, jaguars and African lions, besides 12 ostriches, 20 giraffes, 18 meerkats, 10 spectacled caiman, seven cheetahs, African elephants and nine Great Indian Bustards will also be the attractions of the zoo. The frog house will have about 200 amphibians while the aquatic kingdom will house around 350 fishes.
“We are aware of RIL’s interest and passion for wildlife and its conservation. While not fully aware of the project details, I’m sure it will set a good example for private participation in wildlife conservation,” said Soumitra Dasgupta, additional director-general of forests (wildlife), ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
Dasgupta added that the concept of private zoos is not new in India and added that one of the country’s oldest zoos — The Zoological Garden, Kolkata — is a private one.
The conservation efforts by RIL is not a new initiative though. Reliance has also set up a rescue centre at Jamnagar where a few leopards were recently shifted from the wild by the state forest department.
“The centre is a CSR initiative meant to aid the forest department in sheltering big cats like leopards that have been injured or come into conflict with humans. It is separate from the zoo project and won’t open for the public,” said Nathwani. He added that the centre will provide state-of-the-art medical facilities for the resident animals.