Safari Guide Mauled To Death By Lion In The Same Park Cecil Was Killed

By Editorial Staff in Bizarre On 26th August 2015

#1 Tragic: Quinn Swales was mauled by a lion in the same Zimbabwean park where Cecil was murdered last month

A Safari guide has been mauled to death and hailed a hero as he tried to protect his group from a charging lion.

Quinn Swales was killed by the big cat in the same Zimbabwean park where Cecil the lion was illegally hunted by an American dentist last month.

#2 Heroic: The experienced Safari guide protected his guests from an attacking lion in Hwange National Park

The 40-year-old was tracking lions with a tour party during a dawn safari when they were suddenly targeted by the large male.

According to statement from the camp where he worked, the professional guide 'did everything he could to successfully protect his guests and ensure their safety' during the attack.

No one else was hurt in the unexpected incident which took place this morning in Hwange National Park, western Zimbabwe.

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#3 Haunting: Mr Swales had this picture of Cecil the lion as his Facebook cover photo - the big cat was illegally hunted last month by American dentist Walter Palmer which led to an international outcry

Shelley Cox, of African Bush Camps, which owns the Camp Hwange operation, said: 'Quinn's actions in successfully protecting the lives of his guests is heroic and reminiscent of his outstanding guiding skills, experience and training.

'It is certainly a tragedy and a loss to the guiding fraternity and tourism industry.'

#4 Camp Hwange: The Safari guide was killed by a lion in the same park as Cecil the lion (pictured) was hunted

Mr Swales, a fully qualified and experienced Zimbabwe Professional Guide and former pilot, was leading a group of Camp Hwange guests on a photographic walking safari.

In a recent review Mr Swales was described as being a 'fantastic guide, incredibly knowledgeable and very personable'.

A keen photographer himself, he had a picture of Cecil, the park's most famous lion as his Facebook cover photo.

The 13-year-old animal was recognisable because of his large size and distinctive black mane and was being monitored as part of an Oxford University study into lion conservation.

Cecil was illegally hunted last month by dentist Walter Palmer which prompted an international outcry.

Mr Palmer is believed to have paid about $50,000 (£32,000) to hunt Cecil.

The prized lion was shot with a bow and arrow and then tracked for more than 40 hours in agony before Palmer eventually caught up with him and shot him with a rifle. He was then beheaded to conclude the sickening attack.

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#5 Safari ground: Cecil the lion, pictured with his offspring before he was cruelly killed by Walter Palmer - tragically Mr Swales was mauled to death by a lion in the same park

#6 Cruel: American dentist Walter Palmer was condemned for illegally hunting prized lion Cecil (he is pictured here with another big cat here)

#7 Camp Hwange - where guests pay up to £350 a night to stay - confirmed the death in a statement tonight.

It said: '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.

'Quinn, a fully qualified and experienced Zimbabwe Professional Guide, was leading a group of Camp Hwange guests on a photographic walking safari.

'He was tracking lions early this morning, when a Male Lion unexpectedly charged. We can confirm that Quinn did everything he could to successfully protect his guests and ensure their safety, and that no guests were injured in the incident. Unfortunately, Quinn passed away this morning as result of the injuries sustained at the scene.

'We would like to express our deepest sympathies to all of Quinn's family.'

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#8 Fantastic guide: In a recent review, Mr Swales, a former pilot (left) was described as being an incredibly knowledgeable and very personable guide'

Tributes flooded in for the guide today, with one writing: 'The news of Quinn's passing this morning shocked me so badly I could hardly move for hours.

'I worked with Quinn while flying in Gabon and when Quinn decided that he had enough of flying and he wants to return to Zimbabwe to follow his past career and further his career as a safari guide all his colleagues supported him fully.

#9 Popular: The guide was described as having a 'legendary smile' and was said to have been 'living the dream'

'He was so excited to get back into the bush, every time I spoke to him and asked how he was doing, his immediate reply was: "Bud, I'm living my dream!"

'Such a tragic accident and taken way to soon! RIP Quinn, the world is a sad place without your legendary smile and sense of humour as well as your knowledge of the bush. Heaven is a legend richer today! Fly high bud!'

#10 Hunted: This white lion is one of the hundreds of the 'apex animals' bred simply to be hunted on reserves in South Africa

A new international outcry at the treatment of Africa's lions is about to hit just weeks after the furor over the killing of Cecil by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer.

A movie will air next month that claims to blow the lid off big game hunting in South Africa, saying that 99 percent of the lions bagged in the country are hand-reared and specially bred for the bullet.

The movie, Blood Lions, has already been shown in South Africa, and is expected to bring new outrage down on the heads of wealthy Americans who travel to the Dark Continent with one thing in mind bringing back a lion's head so they can mount it on their wall and boast how they killed it in the wild.

'There are roughly 1,000 lions killed by hunters in South Africa every year,' Blood Lions executive director Andrew Venter told Daily Mail Online in an exclusive interview. 'Of those, around 10 are genuinely wild.'

#11 Prized: A male lion is more valued as a trophy because of its mane. 'Canned' lions do not have the scratch marks that wild ones do from the fights for territory and superiority in the pride which are part of their lives

The movie, to be broadcast on PBS next month, follows American hunter Rick Swazey to Benkoe, a hunting lodge near Vryburg in South Africa's North West Province.

There he is guaranteed that for a payment of $5,400 he will get to shoot a lioness he has picked out of an online catalog of potential targets.

'We were offered 14 lions with the images and prices attached,' documentary maker Ian Michler told Daily Mail Online.

Moviemakers claim that the lioness was raised by hand in the booming so-called 'canned hunting' trade, although the lodge's owner strenuously denied that to Daily Mail Online.

#12 A Benkoe Kill: The 'canned' lions are raised for this fate, with 1,000 killed every year. They are released for a minimum of four days to fulfill requirements which make them classed as 'wild' - then hunted.

Moviemakers claim that the lioness was raised by hand in the booming so-called 'canned hunting' trade, although the lodge's owner strenuously denied that to Daily Mail Online.

'Benkoe Safaris do not engage in any canned lion hunting activities,' owner Ben Duminy said. 'Our clients do not shoot tame lions in small enclosures as the Blood Lions video tries to portray.

'We are proud to be accredited by the South African Predators Association as a world class lion hunting destination, which means our clients hunt wild and dangerous lions on a fair chase and walk-and-stalk basis.

'On several occasions a hunt ended with near catastrophic results for the hunter as a result of the viciousness and aggression of the quarry,' Duminy added.

Yet he said he would not try to sue the moviemakers. 'Legal action is not an appropriate strategy to combat the lies and propaganda of the animal rights lobby,' said Duminy. He said hunters in South Africa have their own program 'aimed at putting the true facts about the captive breeding industry across to people and institutions that really matter.'

#13 Notorious: Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer's killing of Cecil created revulsion around the world. He hunted the treasured 13-year-old first with a crossbow, wounding him, then shot him dead 40 hours later