The Born Free Foundation (BFF) is a UK based wildlife charity with projects worldwide and has been one of Land Rover’s Global Conservation Partners since 2002.
Here in South Africa the BFF only has one facility – the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The Shamwari centre was opened in 1999 and forms part of the Foundation’s Big Cat Campaign. It comprises of a sanctuary which cares for rescued big cats from around the world and educational facilities to promote awareness and conservation of wild animals in their natural habitat.
Recently Land Rover South Africa (LRSA) reaffirmed the outstanding work done by the BFF by sponsoring a new Defender 130 Double Cab for the Shamwari team.
Kevin Flynn managing director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa says that globally Land Rover has enjoyed a long association with the world’s top humanitarian and conservation organizations and an unwavering focus on corporate responsibility, environmental awareness and sustainability that permeates throughout the company.
“By sponsoring a Defender for the Born Free Foundation at Shamwari we are assisting this commendable wildlife charity to not only provide a safe haven for rescued big cats from around the world but also to educate people in order to protect our precious wild animals and natural resources for future generations.”
According to Abagail Gardiner, manager of the Born Free Foundation Rescue and Education Centre at Shamwari, the vehicle sponsorship is critical to their programme as it is used for everything they do from sourcing food for the 17 hungry cats at the facility to carrying water, towing heavy trailers and travelling between the two sanctuaries that are at opposite ends of the reserve.
“The Defender 130 Double Cab meets our needs perfectly due to its practical interior space and can carry our team and guests in safety as well as move heavy loads over difficult terrain.’ “The sponsorship and keen participation from Land Rover South Africa is central to our success and the well-being of our big cats and the long-standing support is greatly valued and appreciated.”
In addition to the vehicle sponsorship the members of the Born Free Foundation were given some 4x4 driver training by Land Rover Experience. The extensive two day training programme conducted by Land Rover Experience, Western Cape, focused on correct driver techniques, safety and the essential skills for off road, gravel and on road driving. The team was also provided with practical guidance in terms of preventative maintenance, tyre care, reducing unnecessary wear and tear as well as minimizing the vehicles impact on the environment.
“It was an extremely informative and worthwhile course and all of us have gained a new appreciation form the astonishing capabilities of the Defender. More importantly the Land Rover Experience training has helped us understand how to make the most of the vehicle’s all-round abilities and we are all far more aware of the capability of the Land Rover Defender as well as our own abilities in a wide range of driving situations. This will enable us to use the Defender more efficiently and effectively,” concluded Gardiner.
Source: Land Rover Media Global - 17 May 2011
Roy Griffiths - Land Rover Experience Gerotek & Inchanga