Electric motorcycles used to silently catch poachers in South Africa

At least 394 rhinos lost their lives due to illegal poaching in 2020. Many other animals are in danger due to the illegal animal trade. The Swedish electric bike company – Cake, has teamed up with anti-poachers to help solve the conservation crisis by providing them with electrical off-road bikes to use in anti-poaching attempts.

Motorcycles are convenient for use in the bush but they’re expensive to run, contribute to pollution and their loud engines make it difficult for rangers to stealthily patrol the wilderness and can be heard by poachers as far as 45 minutes away. 

In January 2021, Cake started a pilot programme with the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), a conservation-training institution based near Kruger National Park in South Africa. The college has trained 10,000 field rangers in 127 parks in 56 countries in the world, protecting a million acres of land and helping to conserve wildlife. 

They designed an off-roader named the Kalk AP which is almost completely silent when moving slowly, as opposed to a traditional off-roader, which has a decibel level similar to a lawn mower. It is designed especially for the hot, dry, dusty and muddy conditions of the African bush. It’s able to reach speeds of more than 45 miles per hour due to 18-inch off-road tires, a suspension modified for low maintenance and enhanced durability. The bikes are also solar-powered, their batteries can be charged in the bush using charging stations. No emissions mean they are also safer for wildlife. 

A handful of poaching attempts have been stopped thanks to these quieter off-road bikes and it will hopefully pave the way for more successful anti-poaching attempts in the future.



Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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