A Czech man who kept two lions as pets died from wounds inflicted by one of the felines, according to local police.
Michal Prášek, who lived in the eastern village of Zděchov, was attacked and killed by a nine-year-old male lion.
The 34-year-old kept two lions, a male and a female, without any authorisation from the local veterinary services in a cage built without a building permit.
“I can confirm the death of the breeder,” said police spokeswoman Lenka Javorková, adding that the two lions had been killed. Police were alerted to the incident by Prasek’s father who saw his son’s body lying inside the enclosure through a security camera.
A doctor who rushed to the scene of the accident was the first to “pronounce the man as dead,” according to police, who added that the two animals never left the enclosure following the incident.
Prášek had been raising the male lion since 2016 and acquired the lioness last year. Many of Zděchov’s residents were concerned by the presence of the animals.
He had previously been denied planning permission to build the pens, and was subsequently fined for illegal breeding. But his conflict with the authorities reached a stalemate after he refused to let anyone onto his property.
A lack of alternative facilities in the Czech Republic, or any evidence of animal cruelty, also meant the lions could not be forcibly removed.
In June, Prášek’s female lion made headlines after she attacked a cyclist while on a walk on a leash.