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UK's largest zoo gets workhorses to help with feeding time, new Ford Ranger Raptors

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedforshire, U.K., has gotten two new Ford Ranger Raptors to help with feeding time.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Christmas is already here for the animals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, which has taken delivery of two new Ford Ranger Raptors. The Ranger Raptor, which is not available in the U.S., boasts the most capability of any midsize truck model Ford sells, similar to its big brother, the F-150 Raptor.

The two Ranger Raptors, wrapped in tiger livery, are tasked with feeding many of the zoo's 3,500 animals, including the critically endangered Bactrian Camel. Other animals benefiting from the zoo's hospitality include the vulnerable Barasingha (swamp deer), and Southern white rhinoceros, which is near threatened in the wild.

Ford Ranger Raptor arrives at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"The Ranger Raptor is a workhorse, but on this occasion it's working alongside the horses," said Mike Laird, Ranger Product Manager, Ford of Europe. "These visually striking pick-up trucks will become as much of a visitor attraction as the animals themselves, not least because Ranger Raptors stay still for photos!"

The animals at the zoo live on a variety of terrain in the 600-acre park, which can be easily traveled by the Ranger Raptor's capabilities, thanks in large part to its Terrain Management System (TMS). The TMS is comprised of six drive modes: Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja. These modes are similar to what is found in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, which just went on sale in the U.S.

In addition to the Ranger Raptors, Ford is loaning ZSL London Zoo a congestion charge and low emission zone-exempt Transit Custom plug-in Hybrid in the new year to assist with inner-city logistics and transporting goods to and from each site.

""As an international conservation charity this year has been challenging for us. We have keenly felt the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we and our sister site ZSL London Zoo, were forced to close for a total of 16 weeks each, putting us under huge financial strain and impacting our global conservation efforts. We are grateful to Ford for this loan, which is helping our keepers to care for some of the worlds most endangered animals," said Owen Craft, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Chief Operating Officer.

More than one million people visit Whipsnade and London Zoo combined during a traditional year.

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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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Three two-women teams will compete in a new Bronco or Bronco Sport.

Ford

As the pandemic ramped up last summer, auto event organizers were canceling left and right to avoid gathering groups of people to spread the virus. A few events went on, especially outdoor racing events such as the Rebelle Rally. The all-woman off-road event covers desert terrain in Nevada and California, and this year Ford Motor Company is sending three teams to compete in different versions of the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs.

All three teams will compete in some sort of Bronco SUV. Shelby Hall and Penny Dale, who drive a Bronco Sport in last year's Rebelle Rally, return to the competition in 2021, this time with a Bronco two-door. Pro off-roaders Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen will pilot a Bronco Sport in the X-cross class and novice racers Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant from accessory supplier 4Wheel Parts will drive a four-door Bronco in the 4x4 class.


2021 Rebelle Rally Two Broncos and a Bronco Sport will compete. Ford


The Bronco Sport and Bronco four-door are both Badlands models. The two-door Bronco is a Wildtrak model. All of the SUVs have been decked out in special Bronco 4600-inspired race livery. The two-door Bronco will enter the competition equipped with the Sasquatch package, but will otherwise retain is factory stock configuration. The Bronco Sport will also remain stock, other than having its back seat removed. Ford says the 4Wheel Parts team will accessorize the four-door Bronco.

The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally in the United States. Teams are not allowed to use electronic maps, such as in-dash navigation or mapping tools built into smartphones. Ford says its teams will disable the features in the Broncos they'll be driving in the event.


2021 Rebelle Rally The Bronco Sport will remain stock, but will have its back seats removed.Ford

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