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