As Land Rover continues to evolve their model ranges across the world, a new model conquered another challenge this summer. The new Land Rover Defender successfully finished a daunting Tusk testing program in Kenya in support of their lion conservation initiatives in Africa.
A prototype model was specially outfitted with unique camouflage and a raised air intake to handle the Borana Conservancy. The Defender was put into real-world tests as wildlife managers maneuvered through rivers, pulled heavy loaded trailers, and encountered through difficult Kenyan terrain.
“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,” Nick Collins, Jaguar Land Rover Vehicle Line Director said. 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.”
For 15 years, Land Rover has been an official partner of Tusk. Land Rover has assigned the Defender to work at the Borana Conservancy to highlight the critical situation faced by lions across Africa. 75% of the lion populations in Africa are in decline. Currently, the lion population has declined by over 180,000 within the last century.
“This year marks Tusk’s Year of the Lion. Our aim is to raise awareness of the alarming decline in lion populations across Africa,” said Tusk Chief Executive Charles Mayhew. “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.”
For more information regarding the Tusk program visit https://www.tusk.org/.
The Defender is slated to make its global premiere later in 2019 and be available for sale at Park Place Land Rover DFW in 2020.