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Zimbabwe lions kill tourist as he showers

Lions attacked and killed a tourist while he was showering at an unfenced campsite in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe, officials said today.

Peter Evershed, a 59-year-old Zimbabwean businessman, was mauled by five lions while showering under a tree at the Chitake Springs bush camp, a wildlife viewing area, near the Mana Pools nature reserve, said Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force head Johnny Rodrigues.

Mr Evershed was the last of his group of family and friends to take a shower as darkness fell on Saturday. They heard him scream and raced to the showers but he was already dead from a gash to the throat, Mr Rodrigues said.

The lions retreated only after a safari operator pulled up in a vehicle with its headlights on and fired shots into the air.

"We appeal to everyone to exercise extreme caution. Animals have become extremely unpredictable," Mr Rodrigues said, adding that a surge in poaching has made animals more "traumatised" and dangerous to humans.

Last month, South African business executive Don Hornsby was killed by an elephant in the nearby Matusadona preserve. Mr Hornsby had helped fund feeding programmes for orphaned animals.

Shortly before Mr Hornsby's death, veteran conservationist Steve Kok died when a wounded buffalo charged him as he was destroying traps and wire snares laid by poachers.

In September, businessman Geoff Blythe was attacked by a female elephant as he rode a bicycle near his home in the lakeside town of Kariba, 230 miles north-west of Harare. He barely survived the attack, which occurred in an area normally considered safe.