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Man killed by lions while showering at campsite

Conservationist warn that animals are becoming unpredictable because of an increase in poaching.

Image: travlinman43 via Creative Commons

A TOURIST HAS been attacked and killed by lions while he was showering at an unfenced campsite in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe – and such fatal encounters are on the increase because of poaching, according to a conservationist working in the area.

Peter Evershed, a 59-year-old Zimbabwean businessman, was mauled by five lions while he showered under a tree at the Chitake Springs bush camp in the Mana Pools nature reserve, The Associated Press reports.

Evershed, who was holidaying with a group of family and friends, was the last of his group to shower as darkness fell around the reserve.

Evershed’s screams were heard by his friends who raced to help, but he was dead by the time they reached him from a gash to the throat, said Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force head Johnny Rodrigues.

Rodrigues told Zimbabwe Herald Online that the cats only retreated when a safari operator pulled up in a vehicle with its headlights on and fired shots into the air. He added:

We appeal to everyone to exercise extreme caution. Animals have become extremely unpredictable.

Rodrigues said that a surge in poaching has made animals more dangerous to humans.

Locals have claimed that lions in the area were being lured into camps with meat by tour operators – an accusation that Rodrigues said was “hogwash”.

You’re going into a wildlife area, you should be aware that it is risky but no hunter or anybody entices lions to come near the camps – that’s a lot of hogwash.

Over the last decade as people turn to poaching and illegal hunting for food, he explained:

When there is no food, people resort to snaring the wildlife.

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