Target: E. Chidziya, Director General of the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority
Goal: End guided walking wildlife tours at all national parks.
A tour guide was recently killed by a lion while giving a guided walking safari tour. It is important to take action in order to ensure that others do not meet the same fate.
Quinn Swales had very little to defend himself with when a male adult lion approached him and his tour group at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Guests were only able to make noise in order to try and scare the animal away. Unfortunately, such tactics only served to enrage the lion even more, as Swales was attacked moments later.
National Geographic’s Big Cat’s Program Director, Luke Dollar, is on record as saying that several people are attacked each year by lions. Dollar has also admitted that oftentimes old and sick lions go after humans, since they are too weak or sick to chase what is considered to be their usual prey.
Sign this petition and tell Director Chidziya that allowing these walking tours to continue will only likely lead to more senseless deaths. While lions may be the kings of the jungle, they should never be expected to act in a decorous manner when it comes to encountering human prey.
Dear Director Chidziya,
A male lion recently killed a guide while he was giving a small group of people a walking safari tour. Precautions need to be taken to make sure that this does not happen again.
When Quinn Swales and his group were approached by the beast, they were helpless. Besides their voices, they only had a noisemaking instrument to try and scare the lion off. Unfortunately, these unreliable tactics led to Swales paying the ultimate price.
Luke Dollar, the Director of National Geographic’s Big Cat’s Program, has stated that several people are attacked by lions each year. Dollar is also quoted as saying, “Almost any organism around lions might be a potential prey item, and for people to think that they are an exception is folly.” Furthermore, even sick and weak lions sometimes attack humans, because they no longer have the capability of catching the prey that they would normally eat.
Clearly, walking anywhere near where lions are likely to be roaming is not safe. Unfortunately, people who sign up for these tours may think otherwise, since it is implied that they will be given the tour by a trusted guide.
For all of these reasons, I urge you to permanently ban walking safari tours in all state parks. While this event may be an important part of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry, the safety of visitors and guides should take priority over cash flow.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: George Lamson