Tourists radioed for help after heroic guide was killed by lion

2015-08-26 14:32
Quinn Swales (Facebook)

Quinn Swales (Facebook)

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Harare - Foreign tourists on a walking safari in Zimbabwe had to radio for help themselves after a heroic professional guide was killed in front of them by a lion this week, it emerged on Wednesday.
Professional guide Quinn Swales, 40, on Monday placed himself "unflinchingly" between the male lion and his guests when it charged and bit him on the shoulder and neck, the luxury lodge that employed Swales in Hwange National Park said in a statement.

The lion - identified by the state's National Parks Authority as Nxaha - moved so fast Swales had no time to fire the rifle he was carrying, Camp Hwange said.

Swales "literally stopped the attack of the lion on his group by placing himself directly in harm’s way".

"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.

‘Praise and admiration for Quinn’

"Using the handheld radio, the guests - themselves unhurt and now out of danger - then called camp for assistance," it added.

“Only praise and admiration can be given to Quinn in the professional way he unflinchingly faced the charging lion," the lodge's general manager, David Carson, was quoted as saying.

Before the lion charged, Swales set off a 'bear banger' to dissuade it.

A post earlier this year from another lodge in Hwange described an encounter with 14-year-old Nxaha, warning guests he was "undoubtedly" dangerous. It said he had been injured in the past and had only one testicle.

"Nxaha is also a Hwange legend, having taken swipes on several occasions at Lion Research vehicles and a mudguard and wing mirror from another vehicle," wrote Imvelo Safari Lodges in a post in February.

‘Nxaha undoubtedly dangerous’

"If you are lucky enough to see him, be very wary, undoubtedly he is dangerous - but what an incredible and awesome privilege it is to have your pulse racing at the sight of this legendary elephant hunter icon," the lodge said.

Messages of condolences poured in on Camp Hwange’s  Facebook page with many recalling what a pleasure it was to have Swales as a guide.

“We had the pleasure of having Quinn work for us in his early days of guiding. A man whose maturity, bush knowledge and professionalism belied his age by many years even then. His out look [sic] on life stays with me even to this day and will ever more,” wrote Debbie Winter Carter.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation

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