Guide mauled by lion in Zimbabwe, died protecting tourists

AP News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2015 8:18 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A guide mauled to death by a lion, put himself between tourists and the charging animal, during an attack in the same park where the Cecil the lion once roamed, a Zimbabwean tour group said.

Quinn Swales was killed as he led a walking tour through Hwange National Park.

"Quinn bore the full brunt of the charge and, unable to fire his rifle due to the speed of the attack, literally stopped the attack of the lion on his group by placing himself directly in harm's way," Camp Hwange said on their Facebook page. The tour group revealed more details of the attack in a statement late Tuesday.

"Having been thrown to the ground, bitten in the shoulder and neck Quinn sadly died at the scene, the shouting of his guests driving the lion away from his body and allowing, ultimately unsuccessfully, emergency first aid to be performed," the statement said.

The 40-year-old guide was "fully qualified and very experienced," Camp Hwange said. On a guided walking tour on Monday, he followed lion tracks, leading to a pride. An adult male rose and began walking toward the group. Swales instructed the tourists to get behind him and stand still, according to the firm.

At first the lion did not charge. As it came closer, Swales and the tourists shouted to intimidate it. The lion seemed to return to its pride, but suddenly charged toward the group, attacking Swales, the tour group said.

Hwange park was once home to Cecil, a lion controversially killed by an American trophy hunter in July, sparking international outrage.

Like Cecil, the attacking lion named Nxaha, wears a satellite collar installed by wildlife researchers.

Zimbabwe's National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority will decide the lion's future after an investigation.