Vantara Animal Shelter, Jamnagar: Rescue, Adoption & Blissful Care

Vantara Animal Shelter, Jamnagar


anant ambani
Anant Ambani announcing launch of Vantara in press conference_ANI Photo

Vantara, translating to ‘star of the forest’, an animal rescue, care, and rehabilitation center is one of its kind initiative, conceptualized by one of the directors on the boards of Reliance Industries Limited and Reliance Foundation, Anant Ambani. Anant Ambani announced the launch of his “pet project” on 26th February 2024 in a press conference. Vantara aims to be more than just a zoo, it is a forest for the rescued animals with state of art facilities including hospitals, breeding centers, research, and academic centers to comfort them in their seemingly own natural habitat and further address the extinction and exploitation of wildlife not just in India but worldwide. 

The project hosts more than 200 rescued elephants in addition to other wildlife, reptiles, and birds. Vantara has worked with international organizations such as the Venezuelan National Foundation of Zoos and associated with reputable organizations worldwide such as the Smithsonian and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums apart from collaborating with national zoos including the National Zoological Park, the Assam State Zoo, the Nagaland Zoological Park, the Sardar Patel Zoological Park, etc. Vantara partners with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature for advanced research for the well-being of wildlife.

Passion, Inspiration, and Concept of Vantara

Anant’s idea of establishing Vantara was strongly rooted in his passion for wildlife, and the philosophy of ‘jeeva seva’ all inspired by his mother. He always indulged in animal care since childhood as his parents believed that taking care of animals would bless him. He does not see a difference in ‘jeeva seva’, the act of fostering animals and caring for humanity, or fulfilling the duty towards the almighty. In 2008, they rescued the first elephant, then created a jungle of 600 acres and opened the first rescue center, The Greens Zoological Rescue Center in 2020.

greens zoological rescue and rehabilitation

Most of the animals were rescued from overcrowded zoos, hunting lodges, animal-human conflicts, accidents, circuses, etc. Anant intended to comfort the rescued animals by hosting them in a state-of-the-art facility and his core idea was to recreate natural habitats for the rescued animals in Jamnagar instead of securing them in cages. Hence, Anant and his team came up with Vantara, the wildlife sanctuary with a rich real ecosystem such that each enclosure in the sanctuary has its own biodiversity. Every element, from plants to rocks, water bodies, and even logs in each enclosure was carefully picked to mimic the animal’s natural habitat. Their main mission is to ensure no wild animals in India suffer in captivity or go untreated.

Spatial Components

Vantara animal shelter
Elephants at Vantara_Reliance Foundation

Vantara is spread over a sprawling 3000 acres of land in the Green Belt of Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery Complex in Gujarat. The establishment of Vantara marked the conversion of this 3000 acres of land into a lush green authentic forest habitat to ensure a healthy living environment for the rescued wildlife. Within the 3000-acre compound of Vantara, an Elephant rescue center with advanced healthcare technologies and a nutrition lab, a 600-acre forest for elephants and a Green Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom (GZRRK) for the other species are functioning.  

animal shelters near me
Elephant Care at Vantara_ril_foundation/X

The elephant center has shelters that are designed to suit both day and night, hydrotherapy pools, water bodies, and a large elephant jacuzzi for treating arthritis in elephants. The center boasts the world’s largest elephant hospital spread over an area of 25,000 square feet within the premises. The hospital is well equipped with diagnosing and surgical equipment in addition to elephant restraining devices like hydraulic pulleys and cranes, a hydraulic surgical table, and a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for the elephants.

The hospital is equipped to handle even first-of-its-kind surgeries like endoscopic surgery for elephants. The state-of-the-art hospital doesn’t stop the center from employing ayurvedic techniques to care for the elephants. The center also takes care of the nutrition needs of the elephants with a separate customized diet for each elephant which is prepared in the 14000-square-foot large, special kitchen. 

anant ambani vantara
GZRRK_Reliance Foundation

The Green Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom (GZRRK) spread over 650 acres fosters more than 2000 animals across 43 species. Apart from the elephant hospital, another veterinary hospital is established to respond to the medical emergencies of the animals in the GZRRK. This hospital is also equipped with world-class advanced MRI, CT scan machines, X-ray units, and equipment for ultrasound, endoscopy, dental scalar, lithotripsy, dialysis, OR1 technology that enables live videoconferences for surgeries, and blood plasma separator.

The Vision

animal shelter

The brain behind the initiative, Anant Ambani has revealed his vision for Vantara as follows. His vision is to develop Vantara into the world’s most advanced wildlife institute and conserve and breed critically endangered species in an attempt to release them back into their habitats to curb the extinction of species. The future plans for Vantara as revealed by him is to collaborate with the Zoo Authority of India and other wildlife conservation government organizations to improve the zoos in India in terms of training, capacity building, and animal care infrastructure. The development of Vantara as a ‘sevalaya’ and not a zoo will signify how an initiative from a corporate institution can help achieve global biodiversity conservation. 


This applaudable initiative highlights the conservation of wildlife and the risk of extinction of diverse species if left unattended. But it also questions wildlife privatization. While praises are pouring in for the Ambani family’s initiative, they are equally subjected to scrutiny on social media!

While privatizing wildlife sanctuaries can bridge the financial gap, instill a sense of responsibility in the common public towards nature, and allow for wide research and inventions for the betterment of wildlife, it is also true that the risk of commercialization and the probability of violation of laws exist. However, being one of its one-of-a-kind initiative, the noble intention of Vantara is to be promoted and appreciated to inspire others to come forward and participate in wildlife and nature stewardship.