A lion mauled a 34-year old man to death at his home in the town of Zdechov in the eastern Czech Republic.

The man’s father discovered his son’s body inside the wooden cage in their back yard. He said the pen was locked from the inside.

To compound this needless tragedy, police shot and killed a male and female lion, on the property, claiming the murder of these animals was necessary to reach the man’s body.

Mr. Prasek purchased the male lion from Slovakia in 2016, and the lioness arrived last year. Prasek was an amateur lion breeder, did not have a breeding license, and failed to get permission from the council to build the enclosures.

Local authorities report they had fined Prasek for illegal breeding but were unable to take further action because Prasek wouldn’t give them access to the property. The police had no power to remove the animals as, according to them, there was no evidence of animal cruelty — and no facility to send the lions if they were confiscated.

“Today’s incident will perhaps finally help to resolve this long-term problem,” commented Zdechov mayor Thomas Kocourek.

This heartbreaking outcome is not a resolution; it’s a complete failure of a system that allowed an inexperienced person to purchase and imprison wild animals.

World Animal Protection is calling it a tragic event, saying it’s just one of many examples “why wild animals such as big cats are absolutely not to be kept as pets.”

Prasek was woefully unqualified and should never have been allowed to purchase and hold exotic animals. Last year, he was walking the lioness on a leash through a public area when a cyclist collided with the animal. The incident led to the cyclist seeing a doctor.

Big cat ownership is not illegal in the Czech Republic, so authorities have limited powers to control the issue. There are an estimated 250 big cats in private ownership in the country. Due to the lack of legislation, a man and two innocent lions are dead. Until there is strong legislation worldwide preventing exotic animals from being held in captivity, these tragic events will keep occurring.