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Zoo Animals Escape in Massive Flooding in Tbilisi in Georgia

Image: Zoo Animals Escape in Massive Flooding in Tbilisi in Georgia
A hippopotamus walks along a flooded street in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Beso Gulashvili/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 Jun 2015 11:25 AM

Dozens of animals at a zoo in Georgia's national capital of Tbilisi escaped into the city's streets after heavy rain flooded the area – including lions, tigers, bears and a hippopotamus. Hundreds of other animals that could not swim drowned.

The flooding led to the deaths of at least 12 people but officials have said there has hasn't been an accounting of the missing and dead at the zoo, according to the Washington Post. Three zoo workers were killed while trying to save animals when a river that runs next to the zoo flowed over its banks and flooded animal enclosures.

 


Emergency crews used rafts and inflatable boats to reach people trapped by flooding but some flooding appeared to wash away at least one residential street, the Post reported.

The hippopotamus that swam out of its enclosure and onto the central Heroes' Square was shot with a tranquilizer and returned to the zoo, said zoo spokeswoman Mzia Sharashidze.

Sharashidze said that while animals like wolves, lions, tigers, jackals and jaguars swam from the zoo, hundreds of other animals could not swim and drowned in the flood waters, reported BBC News.

Sharashidze said special forces killed many of the wild animals that could threaten humans. A small bear was located hanging on to an air-conditioning unit outside of one building and a man found a hyena had made its way onto his balcony.

Photos of some of the animals roaming the city were posted on social media.


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Dozens of animals at a zoo in Georgia's national capital of Tbilisi escaped into the city's streets after heavy rain flooded the area – including lions, tigers, bears and a hippopotamus. Hundreds of other animals that could not swim drowned.
zoo, animals, escape, flooding, tbilisi
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2015-25-15
Monday, 15 Jun 2015 11:25 AM
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