Poaching has devastating consequences for all wildlife and is the primary reason many species now face the risk of extinction.
Anti-poaching teams use dirt bikes for patrolling as it is the fastest and most agile mode of transport to use in the wild. However, these bikes use fuel, which is a scarce resource in these regions, making it expensive to transport in remote areas. The combustion engine bike also alerts illegal poachers from miles away with their noisy engines, unable to effectively meet their core purpose: to save endangered species from extinction.
“This is a perfect example of purpose meeting sustainability”, says Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and found of Ride CAKE.
In partnership with the Southern African Wildlife College, Ride CAKE’s engineers have developed the Kalk AP, a high-performance bike that’s quieter and lighter than any combustion engine motorbike.
The new Kalk AP bike allows rangers to approach poachers silently without being detected, making it an effective way for anti-poaching teams who work in the region. The bike will continuously be tuned and optimized with feedback from rangers, aiming to create the best bike possible for anti-poaching.
With combustion engine motorcycles, buying and transporting fuel to remote areas have proved both costly, inconvenient and very unsustainable. The fuel is shipped long-distance via petrol-driven trucks or even helicopters, driving both costs further and polluting the area.
With the new electric Kalk AP, rangers are equipped with a power kit and solar panels from leading solar power company Goal Zero, to supply the bikes with renewable power from the sun. The bikes can be charged via the power kit independently from any power outlet, enabling more freedom to ride and less pollution in the area.
“We are very proud to be partnering with CAKE and Goal Zero to test these electric off-road bikes given the impact that this could have on countering poaching across Africa”, further added Stefan.
The first batch of bikes launched in September 2021 and have made it to the SAWC. Rangers can now hit the trails to protect the wild against poachers. And the transition is already showing signs of great advantages compared to the previously used petrol bikes.
“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”, Stefan concluded.
Picture: Ride CAKE