Questionable deals with big cats Controversial zoo operator was killed by his own lions

He was considered an animal torturer and was extremely controversial: Jozef Bajanek († 56). Originally from Slovakia, the man owned a private zoo called “Ranč pri Žiline”. There he bred – sometimes under very dubious circumstances – lions, tigers and other exotic animals. Now his passion and his unconditional trust in his predators became his undoing.

Predator Trader will be attacked while feeding

As reported by the Slovakian portal “Noviny”, Bajanek was found dead by his family in a lion enclosure at his zoo. There he carried out the morning feeding as usual on May 16th. When he didn’t return, his relatives got worried and looked for him – with a tragic end: the two lions had killed Bajanek. In order to recover the body parts of the 56-year-old, two veterinarians had to put the lion to sleep. The zoo is now closed, but the family doesn’t want to give up the predator business. On the contrary: They are now asking for donations so that Bajanek’s “life’s work” can be continued.

He illegally sold big cats to influencers

Bajanek himself repeatedly polarized with statements that his lions were “completely harmless”. He even refrained from wearing protective clothing when feeding and let the big cats eat directly from his hand. He was also considered a – of course illegal – seller of trust for many influencers who would like to have a lion or tiger as a pet. Bajanek is also said to have sold his animals to China. This was uncovered by journalists working undercover in 2020. “I know the situation in China. I know that tigers are processed into medicine there,” he admitted in front of a hidden camera at the time. And further: “I have no problem with that. If I sell the tiger, I don’t care what happens to it. I’m looking for customers.”

In 2019 there was already an incident with one of Bajanek’s tigers in “Ranč pri Žiline”. A 29-year-old wanted to pet the big cat and put her hand through the fence. The animal did not hesitate and attacked the young woman. Her forearm was completely shredded and she had to be operated on in a hospital.

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