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Business News/ News / India/  Influenced by Nita Ambani, Anant launches 3,000-acre animal shelter ‘Vantara’ in Gujarat's Jamnagar
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Influenced by Nita Ambani, Anant launches 3,000-acre animal shelter ‘Vantara’ in Gujarat's Jamnagar

Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation announced the launch of 'Vantara', an umbrella initiative to rescue, treat, care and rehabilitate injured, abused and threatened animals, in India and abroad.

Reliance Foundation Director Anant Ambani announces the launch of Vantara, a comprehensive animal rescue, care, conservation and rehabilitation programme, the first of its kind in India, in Jamnagar on Monday. (Photo: ANI)Premium
Reliance Foundation Director Anant Ambani announces the launch of Vantara, a comprehensive animal rescue, care, conservation and rehabilitation programme, the first of its kind in India, in Jamnagar on Monday. (Photo: ANI)

Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation on Monday announced the launch of 'Vantara', an umbrella initiative aimed at rescuing, treating, caring and rehabilitating injured, abused and threatened animals, in India and abroad.

The initiative—a brainchild of Anant Ambani, director on the boards of Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation— is considered to be the world’s largest animal rescue and rehabilitation centre. 

"The Vantara initiative, the first of its kind in India, has been conceptualised and birthed under the passionate leadership of Anant Ambani, Director on the boards of RIL and Reliance Foundation," Reliance Industries said in a statement.

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Located within the ‘Green Belt’ of Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery Complex, the animal shelter is spread over 3,000 acres having a “jungle-like environment that mimics the natural, enriching, lush and verdant habitat for the rescued species to thrive in". It has over 2,000 "rescued animals", which are said to have been brought to the facility from across the country as well as many other parts of the globe.

In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18, Anant Ambani said his mother, philanthropist Nita Ambani, has been a big inspiration behind this project.

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“So my mother has always been a great inspiration to me. My mother, when I was a young boy and we were going, I was, I think, 12 years old, we were travelling from Jaipur to Ranthambore. In the middle, on the road, we saw a young elephant with a ‘mahavat’ in the peak heat, and the elephant was walking a little weirdly," CNN-News18 quoted Ambani as saying.

“So I told my mom, we want to rescue it. So that was the first elephant. And we had no idea how to take care of elephants. So we got the elephant, we kept it. And then we said, we’ll build slowly, slowly. Boond, boond se sagar banta hai. At that time we did not even know what to feed the elephant. We would do what the ‘mahavat’ says. We had no scientific knowledge. We built scientific knowledge over a period of, I think, a decade and more. Today we have a highly professional team, more than 300-400 professionals, taking care of the elephants," Anant Ambani added.

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The company said the shelter has over 200 elephants, over 300 large felines such as leopards, tigers, lions, and jaguars, among others and over 3,000 herbivores such as deer and over 1,200 reptiles, including crocodiles, snakes and turtles. 

The animals were brought after obtaining prior approval of the chief wildlife wardens of the respective states and the Central Zoo Authority as per provisions laid under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the recognition Zoo rules, 2009, the statement read.

Vantara is aiming to "partner with the Zoo Authority of India and other relevant government organisations in improving all the 150-plus zoos in India in terms of training, capacity building and animal care infrastructure," Anant Ambani said.

 

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Published: 26 Feb 2024, 09:57 PM IST
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