NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING TO SUPPORT LION CONSERVATION IN KENYA

4 June 2019

The new Land Rover Defender has moved a step closer to production after successfully completing a demanding testing program with Tusk in Kenya, in support of their lion conservation initiatives in Africa.

  • Tested by experts: New Defender undergoes testing in Kenya with Tusk to support lion conservation initiatives in Africa
  • Tougher than ever: Specially camouflaged Defender prototype was used by wildlife managers to support conservation operations across the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy
  • Unstoppable capability: New Defender was put to the test towing supplies in support of operations and fording rivers while tracking prides of lion
  • Trusted partners: Land Rover has been an official partner of wildlife conservation charity, Tusk, for 15 years and 2019 is its Year of the Lion, to highlight declining lion numbers in Africa
  • Captured on film: Watch the new Defender on test here https://youtu.be/1DA0ko7F7QM 
NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING
NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING
NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING

A prototype Defender fitted with an integrated raised air intake and wearing a unique camouflage, which was specially devised for the surroundings, supported operations at the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy, tracking radio collared lions and transporting supplies.

The unique test programme gave Tusk operatives a chance to put the new Defender through a series of real-world tests as wildlife managers forded rivers, pulled heavily loaded trailers and negotiated challenging terrain. The prototype model was even used to help replace the inoperative tracking collar fitted to a male lion, which was sedated at close range from the security of the new Defender.

The Borana Conservancy is home to flat plains, deeply rutted tracks, steep rocky inclines, muddy river banks and thick forests, giving the new Defender a chance to showcase its unrivalled breadth of capability.

We are now in the advanced stages of the new Defender’s testing and development phase. Working with our partners at Tusk in Kenya enabled us to gather valuable performance data. The Borana reserve features a wide range of challenging environments, making it a perfect place to test to the extreme the all-terrain attributes of the new Defender.

Nick Collins
Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover

 

Land Rover has been an official partner of Tusk for 15 years and the Defender was put to work at the Borana Conservancy to support its lion conservation program, to highlight the critical situation faced by lions across Africa. Three-quarters of lion populations on the continent are in decline and black and white rhinos now outnumber the big cat in Africa. Fewer than 20,000 lions survive in the wild globally - a figure that has declined from 200,000 over the last century.

New Defender undergoes testing in Kenya with Tusk
New Defender undergoes testing in Kenya with Tusk
New Defender undergoes testing in Kenya with Tusk

This year marks Tusk's Year of the Lion. Our aim is to raise awareness of the alarming decline in lion populations across Africa. Fortunately, within the Borana Conservancy, there are a number of prides of lion and tracking and monitoring their movements across this vast and tough environment is vital in order to protect them and reduce any conflict with neighbouring communities.The new Defender took everything in its stride, from deep river wading to climbing rocky trails.

Charles Mayhew
Chief Executive, Tusk
NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING TO SUPPORT LION CONSERVATION IN KENYA

The overall initiative was supported by Jaguar Land Rover’s worldwide logistical partner and supporter of Tusk, DHL to help celebrate 2019 as Tusk’s Year of the Lion.

The new Land Rover Defender will make its world premiere later this year, but you can register your interest now at: www.landroverusa.com/defender

NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER COMPLETES TUSK TESTING TO SUPPORT LION CONSERVATION IN KENYA

Further information

About Borana Conservancy

Borana Conservancy is a wildlife sanctuary based in Laikipia, Kenya. It is home to some of the African continent’s iconic wildlife species, including the critically endangered black rhino. Borana is dedicated to sustainable conservation of land and wildlife. The Conservancy's holistic approach commits tourism, ranching, and other enterprise to build local livelihoods and enhance ecosystem integrity. In 2015, Borana and the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy combined their landscapes to create one of Kenya’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries.

 

About Kenya Wildlife Service

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), is a Kenyan state corporation that conserves and manages Kenya’s wildlife for the Kenyan people and the world. KWS manages the biodiversity of the country, protecting and conserving the flora and fauna in Kenya’s national parks and reserves. KWS also oversees wildlife management and activities in private and community wildlife areas through close working partnerships.  

Notes to Editors

About Land Rover

Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque each define the world’s SUV sectors, with 80 per cent of this model range exported to over 100 countries.