I was saddened, but not surprised, to read of the death of a professional guide in Zimbabwe.
A Zimbabwean guide has been killed by a lion after escorting tourists on a walking safari in the country's Hwange National Park, where Cecil the lion lived before he was killed.
Quinn Swales, 40, from Harare, was savaged by what is believed to have been a male lion as he followed it on foot in the centre of the 14,000 square mile park.
Sources in the wildlife industry suggested the lion was called Naka and had been behaving aggressively towards humans and vehicles for some time. A professional hunter is believed to be seeking the lion to put him down.
. . .
Other guides in the area said Mr Swales would have been carrying a hunting rifle of at least .375 mm to protect his clients and himself.
An employee of Camp Hwange, who did not wish to be named, said they were still trying to establish what happened.
There's more at the link.
The journalist who wrote the article does the usual abysmal job of identifying the caliber of the rifle. It was almost certainly chambered in .375 Holland & Holland Magnum, a standard 'medium' cartridge for African hunting (ranking right at the bottom end of 'major caliber' for the big stuff). It was one of my favorite cartridges in Africa. When I came to the USA, it was on a working visa rather than an immigrant 'green card', so I wasn't permitted to bring my firearms with me. My .375 is now owned by a friend back in South Africa, who's had some good hunting with it. (*Sigh*)
I've never understood the urge to go on a 'walking safari' in Africa. Those who know (including most locals) are all too well aware that there are things in the bush that regard a human being as a tasty aperitif before the main course of buffalo, eland, kudu or impala. We don't have horns or hooves, our skin is very thin and easy to penetrate, and we move very slowly compared to four-legged animals. As far as the predators are concerned, what's not to like? Africans tend to leave the walking safaris to foreigners who don't know any better.
Speaking of that, I'm reminded of the well-known African joke about the European tourist attending a 'walking safari' briefing by a game ranger. The latter was telling the participants what (and what not) to do in various circumstances.
The visitor stuck up his hand and asked, "What happens if I come round a bush and see a lion standing on the other side?"
The ranger replied, as patiently and politely as possible, "Just look him straight in the eye and in a firm, commanding tone, tell him to go away."
"Oh . . . and what happens if he doesn't go away?"
"Then bend down, pick up some dung off the ground, and throw it at him. That usually does the trick."
"Oh . . . and what happens if there isn't any dung?"
"Not to worry, sir. By then, there will be!"