HARARE (Reuters) – A Zimbabwean tourist guide was killed on Tuesday by a lion in a pride he was tracking with tourists in Hwange National Park, the home of the country’s most prized lion Cecil, who was killed last month, the park said.
Last month’s killing of Cecil, a 13-year-old, rare black-maned lion by American hunter Walter Palmer, was met with global outrage and triggered a backlash against Africa’s lucrative hunting industry.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) said that professional guide Quinn Swales was on a walking safari with six foreign tourists in Hwange park on Tuesday when he was attacked by a male lion wearing a GPS collar.
“He spotted fresh lion spoor and decided to track a pride of lions consisting two females, two curbs and two makes. One of the lions known as Nxaha was collared,” the parks agency said in a statement.
“It is further revealed that Nxaha jumped out at Quinn. All efforts to save Quinn were in vain,” the statement said.
Police are investigating the case but it was not immediately clear whether Swales was armed. None of the tourists were injured.
Cases of people killed by wild animals in and around Zimbabwe’s national parks often go unreported, and in the past, some lions that have killed humans have been shot.
ZPWMA spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo said no decision had been made on whether Nxaha should be shot or not.
Zimbabwe has charged two men in connection with the killing of Cecil, who was fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study, and was lured from Hwange and shot by Palmer.
Zimbabwe wants Palmer, 55, extradited from the United States to face trial.