Wild animals don’t make good pets, especially large carnivores like lions. This lion owner in Zdechov, Czech Republic found this out the hard way. Michal Prasek, 34, purchased a lion in 2016 and the lioness last year — for the purpose of breeding — and kept them both in separate homemade cages in his backyard. Yesterday, he was found dead inside the lion’s cage by his father.

His ownership of the lions had reportedly drawn concern from his neighbors, and even sparked tensions with local authorities when he was denied permission to build his cages and fined for illegal breeding. This conflict escalated when he refused to let anyone onto his property. Last summer Prasek even made local headlines when a cyclist collided with the lioness as he was walking her on a leash. However, supposedly lacking any evidence that animal cruelty was taking place, authorities could not remove the lions from his custody.

When Prasek was found dead inside the cage, police responded and shot the big cats dead in order to reach him. According to police, the shootings were “absolutely necessary for them to get to the man,” even if reports all point to the fact that the animals were kept in separate cages.

Not exactly showing his compassionate side, Zdechov mayor Tomas Kocourek said, “Today’s incident will perhaps finally help to resolve this long-term problem.”

According to Newsweek, “Private ownership of big cats is surprisingly common in the Czech Republic, allowing the country to become a hub of illegal wildlife smuggling.”

It’s also worth noting that the cage was locked from the inside, putting another bizarre twist on an already unusual incident.

H/T: BBC

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