India’s richest family, known for their lavish lifestyle and control of India’s most valuable company, has a new venture: building the largest zoo in the world.
The Ambanis, the billionaire family that owns the 168 billion dollar conglomerate Reliance Industries, plan to build a 280-acre zoo and animal rescue sanctuary called “Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom” in Jamnagar, a western Indian city. reports The Week Magazine. Mukesh Ambani, owner and majority shareholder of Reliance, is worth $ 78.3 billion, making him the twelfth richest person in the world.
The zoo is the “pet project” of Anant Ambani, Mukesh Ambani’s 25-year-old son, according to The Week. Anant is a member of the board of Jio, the telecommunications division of Reliance. The zoo will be built near the company’s refinery in Jamnagar, according to The Week.
The Anant Ambani Zoo is set to be home to nearly 100 species of animals, birds and reptiles from India and around the world, including African lions, pygmy hippos, Bengal tigers and Komodo dragons, according to media reports. local. The animals will be housed in various areas with names such as Frog House, Dragon’s Land, Aquatic Kingdom, Indian Desert, and Exotic Island.
Generating criticism after settling for two rare black panthers
The Verdes Zoo Rehabilitation and Rescue Kingdom, expected to open in 2023, has already sparked some controversy.
In January, Reliance Industries struck a deal to obtain two rare black panthers from the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, the Times of India reported. In exchange, Reliance agreed to send two pairs of Israeli zebras to the Guwahati Zoo. But activists and a local political party have criticized the move of the panthers from Guwahati State Zoo to the Ambanis Private Zoo, according to Northeast Now News.
“It seems that even wild animals kept in captivity in zoos cannot escape the tentacles of large corporate houses, as the recent ‘silent’ transfer of two black panthers from the state zoo in Guwahati to a zoo in Gujarat that is installing the The Ambanis trust group has proven it, “Bobbeeta Sharma, head of the Assam Pradesh Congressional Committee, said in a statement, according to the publication.
Around 100 activists gathered in front of the Guwahati Zoo to protest the transfer of the panthers on Sunday, according to Telegraph India.
It is unclear if Reliance bought the 280 acres in Jamnagar for the purpose of developing the zoo or if the company already owned the land. A Reliance spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
A family that mingles with celebrities and tech CEOs
Mukesh Ambani, 63, was Asia’s richest man for about two years before being dethroned in December by Chinese bottled water and vaccine billionaire Zhong Shanshan. Still, he is the second richest man in Asia and the richest man in India by far; the next richest is Gautam Adani, who is worth $ 45 billion compared to Ambani’s $ 78 billion.
The Ambani family is known for their luxurious lifestyle. They live in a 27-story skyscraper in Mumbai that has three helipads and cost a billion dollars to build. The 2018 wedding of Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani was attended by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. And perhaps most impressive is that Beyoncé gave a private performance.
Reliance Industries, which was founded by Mukesh Ambani’s father, is India’s most valuable company, with weapons in energy, telecommunications, retail, petrochemicals and more.
Ambani’s other two sons, twins Isha Ambani and 29-year-old Akash Ambani, also hold positions with the company.
According to Business Today, Isha holds two advisory and advisory positions at Jio, Reliance’s lucrative telecommunications arm that secured a $ 5.7 billion investment from Facebook last year. Akash also works at Jio as part of the executive committee. He is involved in the company’s chat, messaging and product development services.