OK, so it isn’t really insurance related, but it is a great cause and surely protecting animals in their natural habitat is a better option than keeping them in prison-like conditions, penned up in cold northern hemisphere zoos?
CAKE, the Swedish electric motorbike manufacturer, has successfully delivered the first batch of electric anti-poaching bush bikes to Africa. The quiet and high performance Kalk AP motorbikes were delivered to rangers at the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) who are now beginning to use the bikes in their quest to increase the efficiency, to combat poaching.
Poaching has had devastating consequences for wildlife in Africa and is one of the primary reasons that some species face the risk of extinction. Anti-poaching teams have used gas-powered dirt bikes for patrolling because they are considered the fastest and most agile vehicles in the bush. However, these bikes are loud and alert poachers from miles away with the sound of their engines. The next big issue is that fuel is being brought to the field by helicopters or trucks with severe consequences, in terms of pollution.
CAKE presents a solution
In collaboration with the Southern African Wildlife College, the team at CAKE developed a bike built for the unique challenges of driving in the African bush, and the harsh environments it would encounter. The Kalk AP combines the proven off-road performance ability of the Kalk OR with a lightweight frame, sealed drivetrain, and more robust suspension. And since it’s almost silent it’s easier to move around without alerting poachers. A mobile solar charging station designed and produced by Goal Zero allows rangers to take the bikes deep into bush and operate far from the confines of both the electrical grid as well as traditional fuel supply lines.
It’s a dynamic progress with the rangers of the Southern African Wildlife College using the bikes, sharing the pros and cons for constant improvements and tuning until the bikes are optimized for the specific use.
Even in these early stages when they get acquainted with these new machines, the rangers are lavishly praising the Kalk AP for its substantial advantages to the petrol-driven predecessors.
“The petrol bikes we’ve used previously have all been loud, heavy and expensive to keep running in these areas. The CAKE bikes are quiet, which makes it easier for us to approach poachers undetected. We hope this collaboration will result in more effective anti-poaching in our region and we are really excited to start using the bikes in the wild.” says Mfana Xaba, Anti-poaching Team Leader at the Southern African Wildlife College.
More bikes are on their way. Thanks to CAKE’s buy-one-give-one program, the limited-edition charity bundle, more bikes will be donated to help in the field to save more animals from poaching.
To further strengthen the anti-poaching work, CAKE has set up a limited-edition charity bundle, offering the first 50 customers the option to buy one Kalk AP at a charity price, while donating another Kalk AP to the Southern African Wildlife College. Included in the donation is the solar-powered charging station and solar cells from Goal Zero.
CAKE will receive notifications and share ongoing achievements of the Kalk AP testing on a regular basis in the newsfeed on the CAKE website. Additionally, CAKE and Goal Zero will donate their profit margins from the sales of the Kalk AP directly to the Southern African Wildlife College, adding financial firepower to the fight against poaching in conservation areas.
To follow and further support the initiative, a line of garments is being introduced aside the bikes, where 5% of net sales will be reinvested to SAWC to accelerate the progress: https://ridecake.com/en/products/ebb-merch/