A safari guide was mauled to death when he protected his group from a lion that was coming for them in Hwange National Park in west Zimbabwe, where Cecil the lion was illegally killed in July.
Quinn Swales, 40, was killed by a lion while with a touring party during a morning safari after they were targeted by a large male lion.
Swales and six tourists decided to track a pride with two cubs and two males. That was when one of the males, Nxaha, “walked purposefully” toward he group, but Swales and the tourists scared him off, reports NY Daily News.
Moments later, the lion charged at them.
The guide did “everything he could to successfully protect his guests and ensure their safety,” the camp where he worked said in a statement.
Nobody else was hurt besides Swales.
“Quinn’s actions in successfully protecting the lives of his guests is heroic and reminiscent of his outstanding guiding skills, experience and training. It’s certainly a tragedy and a loss to the guiding fraternity and tourism industry,” said Shelly Cox of African Bush Camps, which owns the Camp Hwange operation.
Swales was fully qualified and experienced as a Zimbabwe Professional Guide. He was also a former pilot, reports Daily Mail.
As a skilled photographer, he was taking the guests on a photographic walking safari. On Swales’ Facebook page, his cover photo was a picture of Cecil.
Camp Hwange, where guests pay as much as $549 per night, confirmed Swales’ death in a statement, saying, “It is with deep regret and great sadness that we are able to confirm the death of Quinn Swales, a Camp Hwange Professional Guide, who was fatally mauled by a male lion whilst out on a walking safari this morning.” It added, “Unfortunately, Quinn passed away this morning as result of the injuries sustained at the scene.”
The Camp expressed sympathies to Swales’ family.
In a review of Swales’ guide services, written before his death, one person wrote that he was a “fantastic guide, incredibly knowledgeable and very personable.”
One person who had worked with the guide wrote, “Such a tragic accident and taken way to soon! RIP Quinn, the world is a sad place without your legendary smile and sense of humor as well as your knowledge of the bush. Heaven is a legend richer today! Fly high bud!”