India's ark for earth: Largest zoo of world takes shape in Jamnagar
The site of the world's biggest wildlife showcase - the Green Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom lies on the Dwarka-Jamnagar Road
Gujarat is India's pride as the sole abode of the Asiatic lions and now a 280-acre swath in the state is being readied to become the planet's largest home for the most majestic, exotic, and endangered animals.
The site of the world's biggest wildlife showcase - the Green Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom lies on the Dwarka-Jamnagar Road, about 300km from Ahmedabad.
Two years from now, the veritable pantheon of big cats will be open at the zoo, where people can marvel at the fierce beauty of African lions and the "fearful symmetry", to borrow William Blake's phrase, of Royal Bengal tigers.
The zoo is being built in Lalpur taluka of Jamnagar by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). A few African lions and Royal Bengal tigers are already in Gujarat as part of the RIL zoo's rescue mission and are acclimatizing to the state's conditions in safe enclosures set up 27km from the zoo enclave.
The grand felines currently share the acclimatization zone with American bears (grizzly and black), jaguars, ocelots, and an albino lion.
All these animals brought in by the RIL zoo's rescue effort will be eventually housed in the public-viewing area if they are deemed fully fit.
They will be in the zoo's special precincts for exotic animals, which is expected to welcome more species in the coming months.
As of now, just behind the RIL refinery, earthmovers and road levellers are bustling about, paving the way for enclosures that will accommodate 1,689 animals belonging to 79 species.
Of these, 27 species will be exotic consisting of 257 animals including cheetahs, jaguars, jaguarundis, pygmy hippos, giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, white rhinos, and African elephants.
The animal rescue centre has already received deliveries from two cargo flights, one landing in Ahmedabad and the other in Jamnagar.
These animals are being tended to by a dedicated team of nutritionists and veterinarians.
A special CCTV network is being established to monitor these animals' well-being.
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