Brno, Czech Republic – A Czech man has been killed by a lion he kept in his Moravian family home. The nine-year-old big cat, as well as another lioness, were both shot dead by police called to the scene.
The badly mauled body of Czech farmer and amateur lion breeder Michal Prasek, 34, was discovered by his father yesterday morning in the wooden pen where he kept the lion. A police spokesperson told local media that the shootings of the two animals were “absolutely necessary for them to get to the man”. Agence France-Presse has reported that an inquiry had been opened into the death.
Prasek bought the lion from Slovakia in 2016 and the lioness last year, causing a stir in his village of Zdechov, situated near the Slovakian border, and attracting media attention. He kept them both in home-made enclosures in his back yard and reportedly invited neighbours into his garden to see the animals, even though he never got a permit for them.
Reuters reports that he had previously been denied planning permission to build the pens, and was subsequently fined for illegal breeding. Despite neighbours complaints, his conflict with the authorities reached a stalemate after he refused to let anyone onto his property while a lack of alternative facilities in the country, and no evidence of animal cruelty, also prevented the authorities from forcibly removing the lions.
According to the BBC, Prasek made headlines last summer after a cyclist collided with the lioness as he was taking her for a walk on a leash.
“Today’s incident will perhaps finally help to resolve this long-term problem,” said Zdechov mayor Tomas Kocourek.