Last updated: 12:26 PM ET, Wed August 26 2015

Lion Attack Kills Guide in Zimbabwe's Hwange, the Home of Cecil

Impacting Travel | David Cogswell | August 25, 2015

Lion Attack Kills Guide in Zimbabwe's Hwange, the Home of Cecil

A safari guide was killed by a lion in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, the same wildlife reserve where the famous Cecil the Lion was lured to his death by a Minnesota dentist a few weeks ago.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority confirmed that Quinn Swales, a 40-year old safari guide based at Main Camp in Hwange National Park, was attacked by one of six lions that Swales and his group of six tourists had approached. Swales was leading a walking safari.

The attack took place Aug. 24. Swales died of his injuries the same day.

According to reports, Swales and his group approached a pride of lions, two males, two females and two cubs. The lions became nervous and hostile. At first, Swales managed to scare them away, but one of them came back and attacked Swales.

One of the lions, named Nxaha, was collared and being studied by researchers, as had been Cecil the Lion. According to the wildlife authority, Nxaha was the lion that attacked Swales.

According to Camp Hwange’s Facebook page, after the group of people came upon the lions, one of the adult males started walking toward the group. Quinn told his guests to get behind him, and they all started shouting to intimidate the lion and convince it to retreat. The lion stopped and watched them. Swales set off a “bear banger” to scare off the lion and the lion moved away. But then it suddenly turned and attacked Swales. The attack came too fast for Swales to use his rifle.

Swales was thrown to the ground and bitten in his shoulder and neck. The guests shouted and successfully drove the lion from Swales. Emergency first aid was performed but Swales died at the scene. The guests used the handheld radio to call the camp for assistance.

David Carson, the general manager of Camp Hwange, issued a statement saying, “Only praise and admiration can be given to Quinn in the professional way he unflinchingly faced the charging lion, thus ensuring that he protected the clients, all of whom were unharmed in any way. He paid the ultimate price in pursuit of a job he loved, in an area he knew so well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, colleagues and friends at this sad time. It would be appreciated if the family be given the privacy to mourn the loss of a fine man.”

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