An electric motorbike could help tackle big game poaching. Here’s how

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • Poaching continues to threaten various animals with extinction in Africa.
  • An electric motorbike is the latest tool in the fight to protect them.
  • The solar-powered off-road bike is so quiet, poachers don’t hear it coming.
  • Drones have also proved effective in protecting rhinos.

Poaching in Africa kills 35,000 elephants a year and has driven the black rhino to the brink of extinction.

So how might a solar-powered motorcycle might help?

image of the Kalk AP electric motorbike
The Kalk AP electric motorbike is so quiet, poachers don’t hear it coming. Image: CAKE

Technology against poachers

Through a partnership with the Southern African Wildlife College, a company called CAKE has developed the Kalk AP – an electric, off-road trail bike, which not only makes it sustainable, but quiet, too.

In vast areas of the bush, the sound of approaching vehicles warns illegal hunters to pack up and flee. But the quieter Kalk AP (the ‘AP’ stands for anti-poaching) bike could eliminate that problem.

With an 11 kilowatt motor, the bike has a maximum ride-time of three hours between charges, while a portable power station kit allows it to recharge in the middle of the African bush.

The Kalk AP is currently being offered as a trial run of just 50 bikes – and sold as a buy-one-give-one bundle. In essence, customers in the developed markets where CAKE sells are being asked to buy two bikes for around $30,000.

The purchasing customer gets one bike. The other, plus a solar-charging kit, is sent to the Southern African Wildlife College, which has trained over 18,000 people from 56 countries to work in 127 parks across Africa, protecting “some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas”.

image of endangered animal species in Africa
We are at risk of losing these endangered African species. Image: African Wildlife Foundation

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.Global warming can be beaten thanks to this simple plan

The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.

A concerted fight-back

Peer pressure and the promise of earning a lot of money are among the main incentives for poachers, according to research from TRAFFIC, an organisation working to stem the global trade in wild animals and plants.

That report, The People Beyond the Poaching, calls for “recommendations to increase the arrests and prosecutions of the individuals that occupy the higher echelons of these illegal supply chain networks” as well as “the need to equip individuals with the ability to resist opportunities of crime through interactive community-based education programmes”.

The electric motorbike isn’t the first time technology has been put to use in Africa to fight poaching. A research team from the UK’s University of Brighton looked at methods of chasing rhino away from high-risk areas frequented by poachers. They found that airborne drones were particularly effective at getting herds of rhino to safety.

Other possible deterrents, according to TRAFFIC, include simply publicizing the severity of the penalties handed down to convicted poachers. https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=facebook.com%2Fworldeconomicforum%2Fvideos%2F4004783082885627%2F&width=640&show_text=false&appId=1085482764806408&height=360

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s how tech can help governments fight corruption

Khashoggi trial in Saudi Arabia falls short of independent, international probe needed: UN rights chief

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Venezuela-Colombia baby breakthrough, Italy piles on rescue boat pressure, States must combat hate, Kashmir rights latest and a musical plea to combat CAR hunger

Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

UN launches Facebook Messenger-powered bot to take on climate change

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Building climate resilience and peace, go hand in hand for Africa’s Sahel – UN forum

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

Here’s why upskilling is crucial to drive the post-COVID recovery

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

How the US should react to the pandemic, according to Bill Gates

One million facing food shortages, nutrition crisis after Mozambique cyclones: UNICEF

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Do doctors need to know their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity?

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

Mali facing ‘alarming’ rise in rights violations, warns UN expert

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

5 things to know about African migration

MWC 2016 LIVE: GTI shifts to phase two – 5G – after hitting milestones

If we want to solve climate change, water governance is our blueprint

Minsk “ceasefire” leaves more doubts than safety, with EU already planning steps further

Trade: First year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement shows growth in EU exports

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how

What young people can teach world leaders about mental health in 2020

How can you or your organization support the Hour of Pride initiative?

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

Clean air is good for business

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

An all-out fight for the EU budget

World Digital Media Awards winners announced at WNMC.19 in Glasgow, in association with The European Sting

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat – and it’s not plastic

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

UN ceasefire monitoring chief tours Yemeni port of Hudaydah

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

Consumers’ rights against defective digital content agreed by EU lawmakers

Parliament mobilised to channel EU funds to those affected by Coronavirus pandemic

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s