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Prototype 2020 Land Rover Defender completes test with Tusk Trust

A prototype 2020 Land Rover Defender has completed one of its final tests before production, working with the Tusk Trust in Kenya, supporting lion conservation.

A prototype Land Rover Defender has completed one of its final test phases after being used to support the Tusk Trust in Kenya in its lion conservation initiatives.

The intention, according to Land Rover, was to let the Tusk Trust put the 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 Defender was used on the 14,000-hectare Borona Conservancy, tracking radio collared lions and transporting supplies.

Nick Collins, Engineering Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “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.”

Charles Mayhew MBE, Chief Executive, Tusk Trust said: “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.”

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober