The case of a pair of lions that have been the bane of a small village in Moravia came to a tragic end this morning when their owner was discovered dead in their pen, and they were subsequently shot and killed by Czech police, reports Novinky.cz.
Police were alerted to the scene by the breeder’s father, who had discovered his son’s body in the lion pen at around seven in the morning.
In order to retrieve the body, Czech police were forced to shoot the two lions in the enclosure, which included a male and a pregnant female. The owner was pronounced dead on the scene, and an autopsy immediately ordered to determine cause of death.
“The incident between the lions and the owner had fatal consequences,” said police spokesperson Lenka Javorkova.
“In order to reach the owner, the police officers from the intervention unit had to shoot the two lions. The doctor recorded the death of the owner on the spot, and an autopsy was ordered. The man was right in the lions’ pen.”
The lions have long been a menace in the village of Zděchov, by the town of Vsetín in the Moravian Zlín Region of the Czech Republic, since they were brought to the area in 2016.
According to state veterinary officials, the owner didn’t not have the required permits to keep the lions, and was housing them illegally.
Still, multiple attempts by local authorities to resolve the matter failed to have any effect.
According to the local mayor, Tomáš Kocourek, the municipality frequently received complaints of the lions being walked around the village on a leash by the owner.
Last June, a Czech cyclist in the area was reportedly attacked by the female lion and hospitalized with injuries. He was ultimately able to fend off the lion using his bicycle.
There are 236 lions and 173 tigers registered to be residing in the Czech Republic. Only about 70 are housed in the country’s zoos, with the rest in private establishments.