MOSCOW -- King Two, a well-known domesticated lion kept in an apartment in Baku, attacked the family that owned him, killing a 14-year-old boy and criticially injuring his mother, Soviet news reports said today.
The lion owned by architect Lev Berberov, was killed by authorities who also found a puma in the apartment.
The Berberov's menagerie has become a legend in Baku, capital of the transcaucasian republic of Azerbaijan.
Ten films have been made about the family and their strange pets, and Berberov has written a series of books about his animals. Soviet television, reporting the incident, showed films of the Berberovs playing with King.
The Tass news agency said King Two, the seven-year-old lion that Berberov used to take for walks on a leash, pounced on Berberov's wife and son, Roman, and was shot by militia officers who responded to complaints about the animals' roaring. Lyalya, the puma, was also shot and killed.
The boy died in a hospital, Tass said. His mother is in critical condition.
Tass used the tragedy to warn against keeping wild animals in homes, saying it 'posed a great danger for neighbors.' 'The passion for wild animals has recently assumed enormous proportions. One can see any animal as a pet -- badgers, roe-deer, crocodiles, monkeys, bears, mongooses, and even lions,' Tass said.