There is a reason why non-profit organizations worldwide use Land Rovers to complete their missions. The vehicles are tough and reliable. Land Rover recently announced the return of the 2020 Defender. The vehicle is expected in Land Rover dealer showrooms later this year. The company provided a new 2020 Defender to Tusk in Kenya to not only test the vehicle’s capabilities, but also to use it to help support lion conservation initiatives.
Tusk used a specially outfitted camouflaged Defender prototype for operations on the 92,000-acre Borana Conservancy in Kenya. The Defender was outfitted with an integrated raised air intake. It was wrapped with a unique camouflage allowing the vehicle to blend into the surroundings. The Defender was put to the test towing supplies and fording rivers on the conservancy. Loaded trailers were hooked up to the Defender with radio tracking equipment used to study the lions. Terrain on the conservancy includes flat plains, rocky inclines, muddy riverbanks, and thick forests.
“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,” said Land Rover Vehicle Line Director Nick Collins.
Land Rover has been an official partner with Tusk for 15 years. Three-quarters of lion populations are in decline in Africa. Forty-seven lions live on the conservancy. Just 20,000 lions exist in Africa today compared to the 200,000 that roamed the continent a century ago.