A nine-year-old male lion mauled its owner to death in a village in the east of the Czech Republic on Tuesday morning, police said.
“I can confirm the breeder is dead,” regional police spokeswoman Lenka Javorkova told AFP, adding the circumstances of the incident were under investigation.
The 34-year-old breeder kept two lions, a two-year-old female and the male, without the required veterinary licence and in an enclosure built without a permit at the village of Zdechov.
“The police had to shoot the two lions dead. A doctor then declared the owner dead,” said the spokeswoman, adding both animals had been inside the enclosure at the time.
The breeder’s father called the police at 0600 GMT after seeing his son’s motionless body in the enclosure on a security camera.
The man had bred the male since 2016 and the female since last year. Czech media reported that people in the village had expressed concern about the presence of the animals.
Last June, the female lion attacked and injured a cyclist while taking a walk on a leash with its owner.