We all know that electric vehicles are good for the environment, what with their reduced carbon emissions and promised end to roadside smog. But now it turns out that they could also deliver sizeable benefits to a very specific environment: South African safari parks.
Apparently, the lions and cheetahs can get a bit fed up with the steady stream of Land Rover-encased ready meals, also known as tourists, who frequently interrupt a busy afternoon lazing around. Imagine thousands of obese Americans and love struck honeymooners revving up to the watering hole and sticking a telephoto lens in your face, and you can imagine how they feel.
But now help could be at hand thanks to Jaguar Land Rover and British lithium-ion battery manufacturer Axeon, which have teamed up to produce an all-electric Defender 4x4 that is proving a hit with the local wildlife.
According to reports from The Engineer last month, Axeon has found that the electric Land Rover can not only cope with the rough bush terrain, but has "been able to get closer to animals within the game park due to its much quieter operation".
In addition, the battery boasts enough charge to do a typical safari trip three times over, avoiding the terrifyingly exciting prospect of having to navigate the man-eating lions and stampeding elephants on the walk back to the lodge.
The Sceptic Tank is delighted to learn that silent electric vehicles could be good news for nature in more ways than one. Assuming, of course, that those delightful South African safari parks that breed wild animals for the express purpose of allowing men with mid-life crises to sneak up and shoot them don't get wind of the idea.