Czech man mauled to death by lion he kept in back yard
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on March 6, 2019
A man has been mauled to death by a lion caged at his family home in the eastern Czech Republic.
Michal Prasek owned the nine-year-old big cat and another lioness for breeding, reportedly drawing concern from local residents.
Mr Prasek’s father found his body in the lion’s cage and told local media it had been locked from the inside.
The animals – living in separate pens – were shot dead by police called to the scene.
A police spokesperson told local media that the shootings were “absolutely necessary for them to get to the man”.
Mr Prasek, 33, bought the lion in 2016 and the lioness last year, and kept them both in home-made enclosures in his back yard in the village of Zdechov.
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.
Mr Prasek made headlines last summer after a cyclist collided with the lioness as he was taking her for a walk on a leash.
After intervention by police, the incident was deemed a traffic accident.
“Today’s incident will perhaps finally help to resolve this long-term problem,” said Zdechov mayor Tomas Kocourek.