New Defender supports lion conservation in Kenya

A heavily-camouflaged prototype of the new Defender has finished its testing with the Tusk Trust wildlife conservation charity at the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy in Kenya.

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The Defender, fitted with an integrated, body-hugging raised air intake, supported operations, while tackling real-world tasks: fording rivers, pulling heavily-loaded trailers and negotiating challenging tracks in the area.

Terrain in the area ranges from flat plains with deeply rutted tracks, steep rocky inclines, muddy river banks and thick forests.

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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.’

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Land Rover has been an official partner of Tusk Trust for 15 years and the Defender was put to work at the Borana Conservancy to support its lion conservation program, to highlight the critical situation faced by lions across Africa. Three-quarters of lion populations on the continent are in decline and black and white rhinos now outnumber the big cat in Africa. Fewer than 20,000 lions survive in the wild globally - a figure that has declined from 200,000 over the last century.

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