TRAGEDY AS HLANE GUIDE KILLED BY LIONESS

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TRAGEDY AS HLANE GUIDE KILLED BY LIONESS
TRAGEDY AS HLANE GUIDE KILLED BY LIONESS

Africa-Press – Eswatini. Tragedy befell Hlane Royal National Park on Sunday when two guides were attacked and mauled by a lioness, resulting to one of them being killed on the spot, while the second one was rushed to hospital.

The two workers who normally work as tour guides were working on clearing the trails inside the lion and elephant section to give clear views for visitors who frequent the game park.

The game park is one of the country’s tourist attraction sites, which preserves various game animals which includes the Big Five animals.

In a press statement, the Big Game Parks confirmed the tragic incident which happened at around the lunch hour on Sunday. The authorities of Big Game Parks also confirmed that one of the guides was killed by the vicious cat during the attack.

The deceased was identified as Nxumalo, who has been with the game park for several years. The second guide, Maxwell Dlamini miraculously survived the attack which however, left him with multiple injuries which were inflicted on him by the lioness. He is currently admitted at Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital for treatment.

When visited by this publication yesterday, Dlamini was found narrating the tragic incident to his family members who had come to check on him at the hospital.

He disclosed that they were on their usual duty of clearing the trails and cutting down large shrubs within the game park so that visitors would have a clear view of the animals. Dlamini said they usually took high precautionary measures when clearing trails inside the lion and elephant section.

He said usually, one guide or ranger would have to stay on the top of the guide vehicle to be lookout for approaching lions or elephants while the others work on cutting down the shrubs. On this particular day, the two guides were on their own, with no one else within the lion and elephant section.

Safety

Dlamini said as per the safety precautions, they took turns to cut down the shrubs as one would stay on top of the vehicle to lookout for approaching animals while the other worked on cutting down the shrubs.

This was until the cutting down of the last shrub, when both of them came down to collect their working tools in preparation to leave the section.

“We were already walking towards the vehicle when the lioness emerged just a few metres away from us and attacked us as we were walking parallel to each other,” he said as he narrated to his family.

Dlamini said everything else then happened within a split-second.

The lioness is said to have went straight for Dlamini as he appeared bigger than his colleague.

“The lioness quickly took me onto the ground and attempted to grab my neck. I fought back and managed to protect my neck while my colleague made noise to scare the lioness away,” Dlamini narrated. The lioness is said to have then changed its focus and pounced on the deceased.

It grabbed him with its claws and killed him instantly. The lioness then dragged the deceased into the bushes, leaving Dlamini sprawling on the ground. The lioness only ate a part of the deceased as it was gathered that it had recently been fed. The deceased’s body was eventually retrieved from the bushes, while the survivor was rushed to hospital.

Meanwhile, when asked for further clarity on the incident, Dlamini asked not to speak directly to the media, stating that he was not allowed to do so.

In the meantime, Dlamini’s family members engaged in an emotional prayer inside the hospital ward as they thanked God for his miraculous survival.

Lioness gunned
down – Big Game Parks

Following the tragic incident that claimed the life of a guide at Hlane Royal National Park, authorities of Big Game Parks (BGP) have assured that safety precautions are prioritised within all game parks in the country.

In a press statement, the BGP first confirmed that two guides who were working within the lion and elephant section were attacked and mauled by a lioness on Sunday. They stated that rangers responded promptly to the incident after the surviving guide called for help.

The authorities said the BGP frequently conducted trainings for guides and rangers, both internally and using reputable external service providers. Further stated on the press statement was that, the BGP also had protocols and codes put in place to promote the safety of staff and tourists.

“Even though such are in place, unfortunately accidents can still occur, each with their own particular set of circumstances,” reads part of the statement.

Fatal

In the meantime, it was reported that the lioness which was involved in the fatal incident was gunned down according to the BGP policies.

This is a common practice across the world, stipulating that a lion which had fatally attacked a human had to be eliminated to prevent more attacks. Meanwhile, the BGP also conveyed condolences to the family of the deceased guide and also wished a speedy recovery for the survivor.

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