In February, we shared a post about how the Anti-Poaching Unit at the Zululand Rhino Reserve Foundation is using Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles to patrol against poachers.
Now that the bicycles have been in the field for over three months, we have an update on how they are doing from Dwain Strydom, head of security.
“The bikes are doing well,” he says. “They are being used to the fullest of their capacity. They are very strong and durable. We are getting to less seen areas more often than in the past because of the distance from more vulnerable poaching areas. It is always good to show presence in those areas. What is also good about these bicycles is that we can ride along the rhino paths without disturbing the animals to monitor them.”
He adds that word of the bicycles being used to patrol the fence lines, which he believes will help to deter poachers from entering the reserve.
“We had a situation two weeks ago where we heard a gunshot inside the reserve. We asked one team, who luckily had bicycles, to close up a known escape route area. They were able to get there in a few minutes with the bicycles, whereas it would have taken a good 30 minutes on foot to get to the same area.”
The bicycles are assisting the Anti-Poaching Unit to respond faster, cover more ground and create greater awareness in the field and surrounding community. The bikes’ tyres have been filled with tyre slime to prevent punctures, and so far they seem to be winning the battle against the bush terrain and thorns.
Here are some more photos of the bicycles and team from the Zululand Rhino Reserve. For more info, visit their Facebook page.