Swedish electric bike maker CAKE is helping in the fight against poaching in Africa with its anti-poaching solar powered Kalk AP electric motorbike.
Optimised for wildlife preservation, the Kalk AP is a limited edition, solar-powered bush bike, developed in collaboration with the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) and rangers of the African bush to protect conservation areas from poaching. The first batch of electric anti-poaching bush bikes were delivered last month to rangers, who are in the process of testing the bikes under the research and development department of the SAWC.
CAKE developed a bike built for the unique challenges of driving in the African bush, and the harsh environments it would encounter. 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.
Kalk AP is designed specifically for rangers who spend their weeks in the African bush patrolling for poachers and illegal traps. Special features include 18″custom-made off-road tires, a rear carrier to attach arms or medical equipment and fenders made of natural fibre biocomposite material from Trifilon.
The bikes are also outfitted with a powerful headlight from Silva for effective nighttime patrolling. Together with the luggage manufacturer DB, CAKE has developed a first aid kit to be transported on the Kalk AP and used in the field to treat injured animals.
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. Also refuelling in remote locations is difficult, having to be brought to the field by helicopters or trucks which pollute and impact the environment.
Mfana Xaba, Anti-poaching Team Leader at SAWC, said: “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.”
It is understand that more bikes will be donated to SAWC to help in the field to save more animals from poaching, thanks to CAKE’s buy-one-give-one program.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living