The world’s largest zoo, which will be home to 100 different species of animals, birds and reptiles, will be set up in Gujarat’s Jamnagar by Reliance Industries Ltd. This is a pet project of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, Anant Ambani.
The zoo will be built on about 280 acres of land close to the company’s refinery project at Moti Khavdi near Jamnagar, the world’s largest oil refining complex where it operates a petrochemicals project as well.
A Reliance Industries executive said the zoo is expected to open for public in the next two years if the project, which was delayed because of COVID-19 pandemic, doesn’t face any further postponement. Parimal Nathwani, RIL director (corporate affairs) said it will be called “Greens Zoological, Rescue & Rehabilitation Kingdom”. “All the required approvals from concerned central and state government authorities have already been obtained.
Nathwani said RIL 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.”
Soumitra Dasgupta, additional director-general of forests (wildlife), ministry of environment, forest and climate change, said they are aware of RIL’s interest and passion for wildlife and its conservation. “I’m sure it will set a good example for private participation in wildlife conservation,” Dasgupta said. “The concept of private zoos is not new in India with The Zoological Garden in Kolkata being a private one.”
Information on the Central Zoo Authority’s website says that 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. Furthermore, various species, including barking deers, slender loris, sloth bears, fishing cats, komodo dragons, Indian wolves and Rosy pelicans are proposed to be the attractions of the zoo.