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Zoo animals on the run after flooding in Georgian capital

The Hindu, New Delhi, 15 June, 2015

Tigers, lions, a hippopotamus and several other zoo animals escaped from the zoo in Georgia’s capital after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents in Tbilisi to say indoors Sunday. At least eight people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers, while 10 people are missing.


An escaped hippo was cornered in one of the city’s main squares and subdued with a tranquilizer gun, the zoo said. Some other animals also have been seized, but it remained unclear how many are on the loose. Bears and wolves are also among the animals who fled from their enclosures amid the flooding from heavy rains and high winds.


It wasn’t immediately clear if the eight people were killed from the flooding or animal attacks. The zoo said one of the dead was Guliko Chitadze, a zookeeper who lost an arm in an attack by a tiger last month.


City mayor David Narmania told journalists that eight people were known to have died and 10 others were missing.