Vantara: An Animal Centre With a Difference

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Vantara: An Animal Centre With a Difference

| Updated: February 27, 2024 18:01

Timely intervention on the part of the Vantara animal ecosystem saved a nine-year-old leopard’s life. The cat called Deva was a victim of hunting – he suffered severe injuries and an infection on the neck after being trapped in a metal wire snare for two days.

Alerted by the forest department, vets and experts from Vantara rescued Deva, nursing him till his full recovery.

Deva is one of the 2,000-plus animals treated by Vantara, the Reliance Foundation announced. Vantara is a pet project of Anant Ambani, director on the boards of RIL and Reliance Foundation.

“We are focused on protecting critically endangered species native to India. We also want to restore vital habitats and address urgent threats to species and establish Vantara as a leading-edge conservation programme,” Anant Ambani told media outlets.

The Vantara ecosystem, dotted throughout the green belt of Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery Complex in Gujarat, comprises the Green Zoological Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre, home to over 2,000 animals representing 43 species, and the 3,000-acre Elephant Centre, which houses over 200 rescued elephants.

The animal exchange programmes were implemented with the Central Zoo Authority and the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the corresponding states’ approval, honouring the guidelines established by the 2009 zoo rules and the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

The elephant centre is a non-profit initiative and not accessible to the public. However, the rescue and rehabilitation centre is open for educational institutions to increase awareness of conservation issues among people, a national daily reported.

Additionally, the centre has shelters with modern, upgraded facilities, scientifically designed day and night enclosures, hydrotherapy pools, water bodies, ayurveda treatment sections and even a huge elephant jacuzzi to treat arthritis in elephants.

The report adds that the centre is also home to a 25,000 sq ft elephant hospital, one of the largest in the world.

Each elephant’s nutrition is carefully planned by professor Dr Petra Wolf, a renowned expert brought in from Germany last year, considering their most basic physical needs, including dental health. Dr Wolf heads a team of five nutritionists from India, entrusted to prepare the food for the rescued elephants in a special kitchen over 14,000 square feet.

Some of the animals rehabilitated at the 650-acre centre include tigers rescued from the hunting lodges of South Africa, Pygmy hippos from Sri Lanka, over 1,000 crocodiles from Tamil Nadu and 200 leopards from all over India.

The animals sheltered in the centre are cared for in a one lakh square foot hospital equipped with the latest equipment, including an intensive care unit, an MRI, a CT scan, an X-ray machine, an ultrasound machine, and endoscopy units.

Anant Ambani said, “We hope Vantara becomes a beacon of hope globally and can showcase how a forward-thinking institution can help the global biodiversity conservation initiatives.”

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